A few moments ago, I finished my 50K word goal for NaNoWriMo!!
This year was a challenge for me, as I was not writing a straightforward story. Actually, I spent almost the whole month researching, outlining, and developing characters to prepare for each book in the series. It was a lot of fun, as it is every year.
I especially loved the character exercises I started doing later in the month. A couple years ago, my friend introduced me to the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit cards, and we love to use them as a way to relax, help each other with issues in our lives, or simply just to chat. Last week, she gave me a pack as an early Christmas gift, and since then I have been using the cards as inspiration to help me flesh out the characters in my series and, in turn, flesh out the books.
There weren’t any parts that I didn’t like, but I am not as used to making outlines. Usually when NaNo comes around, I am a Pantser (meaning I write spontaneously, or make up the story as I go). I have lots of notes on the worlds my books take place in and on what I would like to add to the stories, but these are more like soft guidelines than actual structure. But a couple years ago, it occurred to me as I was writing the draft for the first book, right when I realized I had forgotten to include a very important item earlier on, that I needed to have a better sense of when things happen and what should go where.
Outlining helped me see which moments needed more “oomph” and which moments I needed to add. It also showed me when would be good times to introduce a new character or story element, which was really helpful. I am almost done solidifying the outline for the second book, and now I can continue with the rest of the series and not feel stuck all the time!
Also, because I was working on NaNoWriMo all month, I was unable to make any new posts. Don’t worry, I’ll post some soon!