Sia had a lovely guest scheduled for today who unfortunately had to reschedule. So today I'm filling in instead. ~ Kat Sheridan
I’m going to try to be a Planter.
|I'm thinking this is a Pumpkin Spice Latte|
NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month, begins on November 1st. For those unfamiliar with the insanity, the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1,667 words every day. For the first few days it’s not bad. You might even skip a few, seeing the month stretch endlessly out before you. “I’ll just write twice as much tomorrow,” you tell yourself. If you’re not careful, that quickly becomes “OMG, even if I write 20 hours a day for the next three days, I’ll never catch up!”
Not that that’s ever happened to me. Ahem. Anyhoo.
The idea of NaNo is to turn off your inner editor and just write. Get all free spirited and new-agey and unleash the Kraken and stuff. For someone who’s a pantser—one who writes by the seat of their pants—this is a wonderful thing. I’m a die-hard pantser. The novel I just pubbed, Echoes in Stone, began its life as a NaNoWriMo project. My very first writing project. Ever. Pretty much on a dare, I sat down at the keyboard and just typed like a fiend for 30 days, with no idea where I was going or what I was doing. Side note: that only got me halfway through the novel—it took another three months to finish it, at least ten rounds of editing and revising, and five years to get the courage to publish it.
Anyway. So that’s a pantser. On the other side of the NaNo field are the Plotters. These are the folks who started back in August with charts and outlines and spreadsheets and research and 3 x 5 index cards in multiple colors and use software like Scrivner and have read “Save the Cat” and have 35 chapters of three scenes each all mapped out and likely already have the synopsis written and the cover in the planning stages. I know people like this. I admire them greatly. I am not one of them.
For the most part, pantsers and plotters respect one another, in spite of the fact that we baffle one another.
But this year for NaNo, I’m trying something new. I’m going to be a planter, a combination of plotter and pantser. I’m going to be working on a project that I’ve been tinkering with for awhile, and which currently resembles hash. Or maybe a ball of yarn the cat got into. Or something you scrape off the bottom of your boot. In other words, it needs to be untangled before I go any further. So before November rolls around, and I unleash the NaNo Kraken, I’m going to do a little plotting. I’m going to at least have a proper list of character names because this manuscript is a beast of a thing with lots of moving parts. I’m not going to go crazy with making a note for each little scene, but perhaps a loose sort of plot outline might not come amiss.
I don’t know. It feels weird. But I’m trying it. If I know myself (and I do), I’m wagering that somewhere ten or fifteen days into it there will come a bourbon-and-Mozart-fueled night of writing frenzy and all my lovely attempts at plotting will go out the window.
I don’t know that I’ll ever be a plotter. But I can try to at least be a planter!
Tell me: Do you ever make elaborate plans for something and then find yourself doing something else entirely? How did that work out for you?
Kat Sheridan is a former project manager and business analyst whose very serious exterior hides a secret romantic. She is fond of books, bourbon, big words, coffee, and shiny things. Kat splits her time between the Midwest in the summer and the South in the winter, sharing her home with the love of her life and an exceedingly dignified Shih Tzu. No matter where her body is, though, Kat’s imagination can most often be found on some storm-wracked coast, plotting historical romances that include forbidding castles, menacing villains, and heartthrob heroes. She loves to hear from readers, and can be contacted at www.KatSheridan.com, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.