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Putting the NaNo Pants On....

Discussion in 'NaNoWriMo' started by hopesstrength, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. hopesstrength

    hopesstrength Acolyte

    Hey guys!

    I'll admit, I'm a chronic pantser. I don't plan anything, anything at all. I don't even come up with an idea until November 1st, and then I just go with whatever's happened to pop into my head. This...doesn't always work out well for me, for obvious reasons. I'm considering doing it a bit differently this year, but I'm not sure where to get started, or what programs to use.

    Any suggestions/ideas to help me try to be less...of a pantser?
  2. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

    All I have time to say at the moment is that when I pants, I usually fail. I needs me some signposts.

    Word processors usually serve me pretty well. At other times I use Scrivener to collate, because NaNoWriMo was kind enough to offer me money off for winning last year.

    However it's done, those few signposts I can stick down for myself help focus me and keep me out of plot hole territory.
  3. ArelEndan

    ArelEndan Scribe

    I usually write without an outline, but last year for NaNo I filled about eight pages in a notebook with character sketches, world-building notes, and a 3-page bullet-point outline. It was just enough to keep me moving forward when I got stuck. Maybe something like that would work for you.

    One thing I found it really helpful was to get to know my main characters before I started writing. A lot of the scenes kind of wrote themselves just because I knew how my MC would respond to the situation.

    Also, if you have an idea where your story is going you could do any research you know you'll need before the November writing madness begins. I wanted names from a Medieval Scottish setting, so I spent some time on Medieval Names Archive and came up with a list that I could pull names from when I needed to introduce a new character.
  4. Sinitar

    Sinitar Minstrel

    Why would you want to change your writing style if it works for you? As long as you can dish out 1500 words a day without getting tangled in the myriad of details, you'll do fine. Do not adopt a different strategy on a whim. It might not work the way you think it would.

    I'm a terrible pantser. My mind constantly jumps from one idea to another and it's very difficult to keep things in check. I need to know what kind of person my character is, how it interacts with the setting and how it perceives other people's action. It's only natural that outlining suits me better.

    Before asking us for advice, you ought to look into your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Find out what makes your writing strong and why. Once you draw a conclusion, seek us out :)
  5. I often use NaNo as a chance to try something new. One year I wrote something specifically working the "hero's journey" angle. Came up with a pretty good story. NaNoWriMo is one month, so you're only 'using up' one twelfth your productivity for the year. ;) It's ok to try something a little different.
  6. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

    Oddly enough I come up with my best ideas almost as soon as I commit to a specific NaNovel... Last year I was set on a space opera and I came up with Faebound. This year it's more scifi, and a setting and premise I've been trying to make work for most of a year has just clicked.

    Pretty odd really, don't you think. Half of the reason NaNo works for me is the drive to get it over with so I can move onto that shiny new idea :p

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