What do you do when you’re planning your NaNo novel but can’t start writing yet?
Easy: edit something old. I’m in the process of getting an old novella set up properly in Scrivener (by the way, I tried Scrivener last November and bought a full copy as soon as I was done with NaNo, it’s wonderful and forces me to be more organized). During this process I’m becoming keenly aware of the way my writing habits have changed. For example, I use both colons and semicolons a lot more sparingly now than I did just a few years ago. The book I’m looking at is filled with incomplete sentences. They’re not quite fragments, but they’re not necessarily grammatically correct either. Missing pronouns and the like. I wasn’t intentionally trying to be edgy – it was more like stream of consciousness. Reading it now, though, I find it jarring. My job between now and November is to soften those rough edges that scream first draft to me now.
In the meantime, snippets of what I want to write in November keep tugging at my heartstrings. I have to bat them back down and away, and I hate doing that. It’s all for the good, though. 50,000 new words means 50,000 new words.
I can keep notes, though! I don’t want to lose any trains of thought for the novel. By the way, I’m in the camp that says 50k words is too short for a finished conventional novel… but it’s a hell of a good start.
Happy planning, everyone! I support all my fellow NaNo authors, so if there’s anything I can do to help or just to cheer you on, let me know.