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Dev blog #2
Context of Preptober…
So NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is around the corner. A nonprofit group of the same name runs this event, with the goal of boosting creativity via various methods. NaNoWriMo is their biggest event, where each November people worldwide are encouraged to write a novel draft with the suggested word count of 50,000.
Because of this, in the writing community “Preptober” has emerged. A month of prep for a month of writing. There is so much content out there if you want to learn more about either, and I suggest everyone try NaNoWriMo even if you adjust the word count to something more suitable for yourself.
My month, the last week especially, has been highly focused on my novel “Wildwoods”. The projects rough draft was completed last NaNoWriMo. While I love to say one month would be enough to execute all my work into getting to the next draft, but that is unrealistic, so aiming for the end of the year. Which is only slightly more realistic.
So why do I think 2 months will be enough? Well, I thrive under fire and two months would be enough for me with this project. The past year with the project has been interesting. I gave the project space so that I could work on my shorter works. Space for me is critical, so when I return I come with really fresh eyes. But I have put work in to reading the draft, creating outlines and what ifs, building out new scenes, taking & reviewing notes, research and identified major problems. So one of my biggest problem, that could require almost a total rewrite is my major three character voices and their consistency. So more research and learning. I am always learning and experimenting, which is why I love shorter works. So easy to try different things within the style. But enough on my love of short stories.
My recent focus on addressing these concerns has been reading a book called, “Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel” by Lisa Cron. I am 50% through the book, and it’s been very helpful for me. The entire stance of the book is character comes first. It has a lot of actionable prompts that are used to build upon each other to build out a strong character voice, and then build out your story.
I agree that character is a core driving force for any book, and most of the books I find entertaining all rely on character and their choices when presented with conflict. It’s one thing I struggle with as a writer, so it’s been one of my focuses for the last year of learning. This book has so much value not only because of its focus, but because of the actionable prompts that it suggests. While I love theory, so much learning in writing is theory and trial and error on your own till it clicks. But this is so valuable with tangible steps, and a case study alongside those steps. However, I think the title is misleading. For being 50% through the book, there is barely any brain science thus far.
My goal this month is to finish the book and all its prompts for my three main characters. Then if time allows as a bonus review all my notes, so that start of November I can hit the ground running.