Yes, It's closing in on that time again. November and NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) is fast approaching. And I'll be attempting it for the second time in my life. You can see my writing profile on NaNoWriMo's official site here.
Last year, I wrote Virtuoso, my YA Paranormal novel and completed the first draft in a month at 68,000 words. This December, I'll be doing research and major rewrites to get it agent ready.
This year, I'm writing Sarah's Nightmare, a thriller/horror novel. In a year's time, I've grown as a writer and over the past week, I learned so much about writing that I feel like my head might explode. I'm going about Sarah's Nightmare completely differently than I have my first two completed novels. First, I've written two different versions of blurbs. I prefer the second one because I wrote it more recently.
Here it my most current book blurb:A government secret program nestled under the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Five children ripped from their homes at twenty-year intervals.
With one exception in 1985.
Thirty-year-old Sarah Richards is an assistant professor for Star City College, pages away from finishing her doctoral thesis, and has a live-in boyfriend, psychiatrist Theodore Merriweather. She's happy and settled in her life. When she agrees to teach a History of Criminology course for a fellow professor, a case of missing children sucks her into the past and her own nightmares of wall monsters. The lights might not keep them at bay this time. The disappearances are happening again. While Sarah and grad student, Marc Bishop, race against the clock to stop this government conspiracy, they realize nightmares really do come true.
Then, I wrote a timeline, since aspects of Sarah's Nightmare range from 1944 to 2010. The only other timeline I've written was for The Phoenix Prophetess, and that was while I was writing it.
Now, I'm working on an outline of scenes I'd like to write. I'm hoping to finish the outline today, so I can work on a synopsis. I did have an outline for Virtuoso when I wrote it, but I still haven't written synopses.
Here is where my path diverges from how I approached novels. I used to have my brief outline and ran with it. The characters and setting revealed themselves as I wrote. Any research that popped up, I did it quickly at the time. Of course, I now realize the first draft might be better if I know all of those things BEFORE I begin writing. So, over the next couple weeks (OMG...it's just a few weeks away! *panics*), I'm doing full character profiles, world building profiles, and making a list of what research I need to do and doing it. I might not get it all done before November 1st, but the more I can get done, the more I know, the better the novel should be, right? Well, it's the goal. I'm hoping by the time November 1st comes, I can sit down and write the novel in a month...or at least 50,000 words of it by November 30th. I'm going to see how writing a novel this way works for me. If it works well, I'll have to do it for my previous novels and from now on. I'll update on how all this works out.
Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? How do you prepare for it?