Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Outline What?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins on the first of November. So many things to do and so little time to prepare for thirty days of concentrated mind-altering insanity.
First on the list is deciding what it is you're going to write: fiction, nonfiction, comedy, satire, poetry... 
Wait a minute! A fifty thousand word Novel in poem form? Well, maybe not. 
It doesn't hurt to have an idea of the story you want to tell, or what genre it fits. 
Next, forget that your idea is going to be seen by hundreds, or possibly thousands of other writers, or that it may inspire others. 
As my friend and publishing columnist for the Toronto Examiner, Renee Miller wrote: "Have faith in your ability to write something truly unique. The important part is the writing, not the concept. Anyone can take a concept and do something with it, but only a select few will do something wonderful."
After that comes the easy part: writing an outline of your novel. The amount of detail is up to you, but it should include a summary of events, main characters, settings, etc.
It's neither as easy as it sounds nor as hard as it looks.  
The hard part, the writing of a novel, or at least the first fifty thousand words of one, in thirty days and thirty nights is the hard part.  Don't worry about editing... that comes later.
Oh... and Don't forget to stock the pantry.  

Good Luck to all, and may sanity prevail.


  1. Oh, you're going to go for NaNo? Good luck. I am not so brave. But I imagine you'll surpass 50K words. And thanks for the quote. Sometimes I say things that have a hint of intelligence in them. ;)

  2. I'm looking forward to it. Although it's a trivial externally-imposed mechanism for ignoring the unimportant and focusing on the important (writing 3,000 words every day); although that should be (and often is) something I'm capable of imposing on myself via discipline and will power; still, having the NaNo framework makes it a bit easier. Good luck to all participants.