Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 86 of 365: Outlining

So, I'm doing it. I registered my third novel for my third run of NaNoWriMo.

I've been doing my best to prepare for it. I know a "true" NaNoWriMo novel is one that is conceptualized, outlined, and written in full during November 1st and November 30th, but I'm of the belief that NaNoWriMo is exactly what you make of it. Whether you write a brand new novel, finish an existing novel, or even just get an idea off the ground, if you are just a little further along the writer path than you were at October 31, then you are, in my eyes, a winner.

But I want to outline I already have. I want to organize what has been essentially floating around in my mind and hope I can pull a few new ideas down with it. I'm writing out what I think will happen in chapters and filling in fake Calendars so I have a better idea as to what happens on each day.

It's a thrilling, creative experience. And I absolutely hate it.

It's not because it's tedious (quite the opposite, actually), or because it takes all the excitement out of writing (again, quite the opposite). It's because there are few things as perilous as the transition from an idea to a somewhat tangible storyline. Things that make perfect sense in our head becomes drivel in the real world. Ideas are changed, discarded, derided. It's one big exercise in killing your darlings.

And I think that right there is why so many people come up with ideas for the next Great American Novel, but never bring it to fruition. The ideas are perfect in our heads, devoid of the context of the real world. Then you have to write it out and something always shifts in the transfer.

But, regardless of how much it stings to kill off my darlings, I'm going in headfirst. November 1st is this Friday. My goal is the same as last year: 1,000 words a day, no less. If I do more, awesome. If I finish the book before the year is out, great. But I am not going to beat myself up if I don't. I'm also not going to beat myself up about how much editing I'm going to need to do. I'm killing enough darlings now; I can wait a bit before I kill a few more.

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