Preparing for NaNoWriMo

David | Oct 17, 2006

I’m actually preparing myself for NaNoWriMo this year. I suppose it’s really just a coincidence, but I’m creating an outline for my novel, “The Secret of Kingship”. I finished reading Robert McKee’s book, “Story”, and it has inspired me. It truly gave me a better understanding of story telling in the modern age.

Anyhow, I’ve been working on an actual outline, character dossiers, and other such stuff for a week or so now. And I’m going into this feeling very well-prepared. I guess we’ll see, but I think when it comes down to it, good writing is not an accident. Good writing is planned. Maybe not down to the smallest detail, but it is planned. One of my (new) favorite quotes from McKee’s book is:

When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost - and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.

- T. S. Eliot

I think my work sprawls when it’s not planned out. My first attempt at NaNoWriMo flopped, no because I couldn’t write, but because I ran out of things to write. I think having a plan (chapters, scenes, characters, themes, subplots) ahead of time will permit me to spend the month of November actually doing what NaNoWriMo requires - producing quantity.

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