This week I’ve been hosting my best friend from Toronto, so there has been only a minimum of writing over the past few days. That said, I’ve done some extra planning for this year’s NaNoWriMo, which starts tonight at midnight: http://nanowrimo.org/
Our local chapter, named the Wrimotaurs http://www.calgarynano.ca/ is meeting for its annual Halloween / Midnight Kickoff party. It’s at a truck stop diner because of the hours and available space.
For my first NaNo, I did a lot of prep work, but unfortunately it wasn’t the useful kind. It was my first novel ever, and I was worried that I didn’t know what I was doing, so I just listed a whole whack-load of stuff I wanted to have happen, in the shape of a seven-part version of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. My rewrites for that one are once again on pause, but I think I’m on the right track with it now.
This year I’m treating my novel prep the way I treat the early development of a feature screenplay, the way I learned how to write in the first place. I want to work smarter, rather than merely harder. Maybe someday I’ll try not outlining: being a pantser (writing by the seat of one’s pants) instead of a plotter. That tactic works well enough for some, including Steven King.
On a different note, Halloween is when I wish I had a front door facing a street. Someday (if I can sell enough of my writing to afford a down payment) I’d love to sit by the door and greet trick-or-treaters. I’d have my living room turn into a haunted house, with creepy noises and some innocent (they’re little kids, after all) jump-scares, and every year I’d make it a little more elaborate.
Happy Halloween! Remember this is also All Hallows Read: give a scary book to someone!