Many writers will spend the month of November dedicating every spare minute to writing as they participate in National Novel Writing Month (known as NaNoWriMo or just plain NaNo). So now is the perfect time to identify issues that could interfere with our writing goals.
(And read on below for a class on “plotting for pantsers,” which can help those of us who write by the seat of our pants get our story ready to “fast draft” during NaNo—all without actually plotting. *smile*)
My last post talked about how the craziness of life can sometimes keep us from writing. New babies, new jobs, new stresses. Those types of circumstances will make it difficult to join in the NaNo fun, but before giving up, we should make sure that it’s truly impossible.
There’s a difference between “we’re not writing because we’re legitimately unable to find the brain power even when we have writing time” and “we’re not writing because we’re looking for an excuse and this normal amount of busy will do the trick.” (*raises hand* Yeah, been there, done that.)
That difference determines the size of the mountains we have to move before participating in NaNo. Do we have to solve our external conflict (rearranging our obligations to fit in writing time)? Or do we have solve our internal conflict (fixing our lack of motivation—which the group aspect of NaNo can help with)? Either way, we won’t know what’s holding us back until we analyze our situation.
Of course, even if we don’t have major crises going on, it can still be difficult to squeeze in writing time. We walk a fine line between setting realistic goals and feeling guilty because we remember all the other times we procrastinated just because we felt like it.
To get a solid handle on our time and what we’ll be able to accomplish with it, we need to recognize all the little things that keep us busy. Those behind-the-scenes things that take up our time usually don’t even land on our “list of things to do” because they feel so normal. But that means we never acknowledge how much time and effort they suck from us, which can make it difficult to set realistic goals.
I Know What Keeps Me Busy—How about You?
I figured I’d break that habit and give you a peek at some of my behind-the-curtains projects on the writing front that have kept me busy lately. And of course, these are in addition to my usual day job, family projects, and twice-weekly blog posts.
I’m in submission mode for two of my stories. That means I’ve been giving pitches, tweaking my queries yet again (*whimper*), and entering a couple of contests. The good news is Treasured Claim is a finalist (under its former title of The Treasure of a Dragon’s Heart) in the Indiana Golden Opportunity contest sponsored by the Indiana RWA chapter—my first final. Yay!
But the bigger news is that I’ve been putting together a couple of classes that will be presented through WANA International. First up, a “plotting for pantsers” webinar-format workshop in the last week of October. I’ve been hinting about this project for a while, and it’ll be ready just in time to help those doing NaNoWriMo.
Wait…Did You Say “Plotting for Pantsers”?
Yep. Those of you who follow me regularly know that despite my pantser tendencies, I’ve done a lot of analysis on Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat, Larry Brooks’s Story Engineering, and Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure. This class will pull all that information—and more—into a pantser-compliant brainstorming framework to use when we’re starting a new story.
Read on for the details…
Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writer’s Guide to Plotting a Story
Do you write by the seat of your pants?
Do you want to write faster?
This workshop teaches a minimalist approach to story development to accommodate “pantsers” (those who write by the seat of their pants). By the end of this class, students will have enough plot and character arc direction to make “Fast Drafting” techniques work for them.
Length: Two 90 minute webinars in the WANA International Digital Classroom (60 minutes for lecture and 30 minutes for Q&A)
Date: Tuesday, October 23rd and Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time/4:00 p.m. Pacific Time (on each of those dates)
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Are you participating in NaNo this year? Have you analyzed how you spend your time so you’ll know how to squeeze in NaNo writing? What activities suck up your time behind the scenes? Do you have any questions for me about my workshop?Pin It