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Making it official: NaNoWriMo Participant Announcement {NaNoWriMo 2016}

I am making it official and just three short days from the official kick off of National Novel Writing Month (henceforth lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo): I am participating this year!

For anyone not familiar with the project, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity for anyone crazy enough to attempt the goal of writing 50,000 words in a 30 day period, which roughly translates to 1,667 words per day. Sound easy enough, right? I suppose it is. Except that the month of November is one of the craziest and busiest months of the year, professionally AND personally.
But participate, I will.

If you're brave, watch my official video announcement.

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This year will bring forth a number of challenges. Most of the participants write fiction or sci-fi. I will write fiction, based on life because this is what I have. I'm using this past year's heartaches to create a story. I think it's going to be a very loose sequel to Uncharted Dreams, my 2007 NaNoWriMo novel. (It's unpublished, please do not look for it. You won't find it. And if you DO find it, please tell me immediately.)

Aside from the emotional aspect of writing this year, I've also got the general busyness of life. This will be my first year participating as a lead teacher. It will be a challenge, but I want to get back to writing. As I mention in the above video, I'm giving myself permission to completely suck at writing next month. I'm putting away my inner editor and just writing. I don't have delusions of grandeur. I know that this piece will not get published. Not right now. Maybe not ever. But I'm giving myself permission to write it.

There are three ways that people approach writing 50,000 words during the month of November.

1. Planner - These people completely plan out their novel weeks (maybe months) in advanced and use pages of outlines write their novels.  Many authors have up to 60 pages of outlines detailing each and every event in their novels and write from that.

2. Panters - These people sit down at their computers and begin typing. I wrote my 2007 novel like this. It worked. As I was nearing 50,000 words, however, I felt like my novel needed to be finished, so I rushed the ending. I don't like the ending at all and I feel like my story could be and should be "fleshed out" more to include a stronger story with a stronger plot and stronger characters. Also, as I was writing it, I felt that it would be part of a series, following the main characters through many of their adventures through life as young adults.

3. Planters - These people are a mix of Planners and Pantsers - hence the name. They flesh out a basic understanding of their story, but let their characters determine the story. Pistol Packin' Annie wants to travel to the big city? Okay, let's do that.

I will be plantsing my novel this year. I have a basic idea of characters and plot, but really want to see where I "go" with it. I used a new strategy this year that was completely foreign to me in years past: deep character development. Not only have I fleshed out how my characters look, but I have their bad habits, overall mood and mannerisms as well as internal and external conflicts. This was a fun exercise to complete because it forced me to think about my characters. As such, I feel they are already stronger than my characters in my first NaNoWriMo novel. So, I see myself already improving in my craft.

But I'm not there yet and I'm totally okay with that. As I explain in my video, I want to use this year's NaNoWriMo to jump start my writing habit. The more I write, the better I will get. It's science.

So, there you have it. My official announcement. I'm looking forward to writing every day. I look forward to creating a new (healthy!) habit. I do not look forward to traveling back home and figuring out how to get my daily word counts in. This should make for good blog reading or video viewing...

Until next time, 

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