Hi everybody. This article purely for the benefit of others and to track my progress (albeit slow) towards this year's NaNoWriMo entry.
So here is my first NaNoWriMo journal entry.
Having created a template based on something called the snowflake method to writing novels, I can now begin outlining the story I intend to write during the months of November, when I will have to write about 1667 words per day to finish.
Although you can check out the method in full detail at the website below, here is a basic summary and critique of it. The snowflake method involves starting with a basic 1 sentence summary of a story, expanding it into a paragraph, continuing this with the very basic descriptions of the minor/major characters, expanding the paragraph into a one page synopsis, taking the character basic descriptions and writing a half or full page for minor/major characters, writing a four page synopsis of the story, writing a very detailed character description from the half/full page, taking the four page synopsis to make a complete scene list consisting of one sentence per scene, and finally, taking the one line scene list and expanding each line into one paragraph per scene. If you'll notice, the story and characters all start very basic, with maybe a few lines or a few paragraphs (if even that) and build up as you continue. Also, since the story and character development is highly interwoven, it allows for both to evolve together as you put your ideas to paper (or blank screen). Even more so, as you are doing a single step, you can always go back and revise previous steps (whether it be character or story steps, or both).
The benefit of this all is that before you actually write your story, you are making important decisions. This allows you to concentrate on the little details of how things happen and not having to worry about getting into trouble with overall plot mechanics, etc. Finally, in case your story doesn't have alot to it, you will find this out during the process of outlining, wasting less time in the process.
In case anybody is interested, here is the website to the snowflake method by Randy Ingermanson.
In case somebody hasn't heard of NaNoWriMo, it is an annual contest, more or less anonymous, that challenges existing, amateur, and potential writers to break out of whatever mold that is holding them back by purely concentrating on writing quantity and not quality. In fact, when you listen to successful writers talk, two things pop out, one is that you should not be afraid to just write when writing your first draft and the other is that you should revise, revise, revise, ...afterwards. So, for those struggling with writing, let NaNoWriMo be a yearly way of getting into the habit of just writing, without fear of what it turns out.
For anybody wanting to get into the groove, I would recommend that you start planning now, with exercises, methods like the snowflake method, and planning your schedule for November.
Anyways, here is the website of NaNoWriMo, which stands for national novel writing month.
For what its worth, I developed a file to put what I write from my template, so I can follow steps 1-9 as I please (in the snowflake method), then I plan to follow a regimen of NaNoWriMo writing practice. Since this is two and a half months in advance, hopefully it will get me prepared and excited to write.
Future updates to follow....