I thought I'd share a bit of my process of preparation for those of you who may be thinking of getting involved with NaNoWriMo this year.
For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it's a time where hundreds of thousands of writers cheer each other on to write a novel in a month. My first attempt at this was in 2007, and you can now see that book on the bookstore shelves.
I wrote the first draft of Losing Faith in 21 days, but it took me almost another year to revise the book, find and agent, and then sell it to Simon & Schuster. And even that year doesn't fully cover the time I spent on it. I believe I started brainstorming that book during the summer prior to NaNo. By the time NaNo rolled around, I had a pretty good idea of what the book was going to be about.
My aim is always to start with a logline - or a one-line pitch for the book. For Losing Faith, the original logline was probably something like this: A rebellious teen girl finds out dark secrets about her older perfect religious sister after her death.
Not terribly eloquent, but I started talking to friends about it, and I got the ooh/aahhh response I was looking for. Even more so when I added the word "cult" to the logline.
From there, I worked at developing a fairly thorough outline of where I expected the book to start and where I expected it to go. You see, writing a book in a month is not the hard part. At least not for me. Coming up with the ideas AND writing the book in a month - now that would be hard!
My idea/advice is to not start November 1st with a blank page. At least come up with your idea. And then find out what kind of a reaction you get from it. You'll go into November with more confidence to boot.
Through the next month, I'll be blogging about my own process, plus offering a few tips and tricks to get you ready and excited for NaNo. Are you planning to NaNo this year? Have you done it before? How do YOU plan to prepare?