Thursday, 23 July 2015

Is It NaNoWriMo Yet?

I know that lots of people have been taking part in Camp NaNo this summer. Had I been a little quicker off the mark I could possibly have done something for that this year, each year after the main NaNo event I consider joining in on Camp and dismiss it for various reasons. Perhaps it's because I've been seeing a lot of bloggers and friends on social media talking about their Camp projects that's gotten me thinking about this November…

I'm starting to plan for National Novel Writing Month already. I have no idea what has possessed me to start thinking about it so soon. Normally the build up to NaNo happens for me when the days start getting shorter, the leaves on the trees start changing colour, and the kids are back at school. Autumn heralds the beginning of NaNo season.

Perhaps it's because the weather has been so unsummerlike recently. We've had wind and rain (and last week I had to put the heating on for a while in the evening because it just felt cold and damp). Maybe that's why my brain is whirling through ideas for a potential story.

What's more, it's not even a new story! It's one I tried the year before last and failed at. I've only got a couple of NaNo failures to my name and they've taught me one thing (well, they've taught me lots of things, but the consistent thing I've learnt is): I am not a Pantser!

I need to plan. I'm a planner in real life too. I like to know what I'll be doing, what to expect, what the back up plan is. It stands to reason that when it comes to writing stories I need to plan too. Especially as the thing that tripped me up the last time I tried writing this story was the fact it was a detective story and I didn't even know whodunnit. Or why. And I wasn't really clear on the how either.

The story I'm talking about is a modern day take on Sherlock Holmes, except they're children. And Sherlock's a girl.

I suspect the sudden desire to rewrite (or attempt to write for the first time, since I'm not planning on looking at my original attempt) is linked in part to the massive Holmes exposure I've experienced in the last few weeks. I've finished watching Sherlock, I've started watching Elementary, I've read Laurie R. King's Locked Rooms, hell, I've even spoken to an organisation dealing with Arthur Conan Doyle's time in a particular place!

All of this has been percolating in my brain over the last few weeks and a sudden desire to work on The Game is Afoot is apparently the result. So I'm currently reading synopses of Sherlock Holmes stories to see if something will be triggered in the back of my brain. I'm looking up character outline sheets. I'm making notes on specific scenes which come to me at inopportune moments (like in the shower when there are no writing implements to be had).

And I'm having fun trying to come up with ways to nod to the original stories, while making it unique. Or something.

Have you started planning for November yet?


  1. It's never too early to plan for NaNo. I expect. I don't participate. (It's not how I work, so I just kind of watch from the sidelines.)

    But, since I do start planning for A to Z in May (thinking about what went well and what didn't, etc.), and ideally I start my Christmas knitting in February, I'm all for starting the thinking stages early. So instead of scrambling in the lead up to, you're just about ready.

    1. Yeah, I like a slow build up to the manic rush. Especially with writing, you need a bit of time to get everything figured out. I'd love to be able to just sit down on the first and run with it, but I'm not that sort of person!

  2. Planning? Shmanning.

    My current plan is to finish the draft for book 1 this month (October) and then do a draft for book 2 in November.


    Actually, I am weaving a plot line around some experiences that I had, so many of the things that would need planning or already there in my memory - so hopefully its not quite so mad as it sounds.

    1. Pantsing is a perfectly valid approach!

      Sounds like you've got a good idea anyway and I got your message on the NaNo site. I'll be in touch soon. :-)


Let me know what you think. :-)