NaNoWriMo is a pants-optional event.
Don’t get too excited. It doesn’t mean what you think it means. A “pantser” is someone who flies by the seat of their pants with no plan of action. In NaNo, it means you don’t start your 50K word novel until November 1st. That’s right. You plunge headfirst into a novel with absolutely no idea of what you’re going to do.
A lot of people say this is the only way to do NaNo.
A lot of people are also full of some much crap their eyes are brown. If you’re not comfortable with just coming up with something on the fly then just do you. Planning your novel beforehand is a perfectly acceptable way of competing in NaNo. Half-pantsing, or kinda sorta planning your novel, is fine as well. In fact, the only real requirement is the actual novel not be started until November and that’s on the honor system. Everything else is up in the air.
Remember, this is a competition…with yourself.
While participating in NaNo it’s important to remember that you’re not competing against the other participants. You’re competing against yourself. NaNo is about proving to yourself that you have the ability to get stuff done. It’s about getting yourself into the habit of writing. It’s about not just talking about writing but the act in and of itself. It’s about that sense of accomplishment at the end of the month when you’ve given your best effort and you have something material to show for it.
So, what’s my advice? Pants or no pants?
It all depends on the way you like doing things but if you’re a first timer I would suggest at least doing a little prep. You don’t have to go the whole hog and go in with no plan. I would suggest getting a decent plot outline together just to ease the burden that some people face in coming up with a new story off the top of your head. I believe this will help you power through your first attempt at NaNo and be a success.
Resources for you.
Here are some fantastic resources you can check out as you mentally game plan for NaNo. Check back next week for more advice.
Lots of good stuff here to get the juices going and get inspired to write.
Also a good repository of info to help you on your path from the NaNo peeps.
An oldie but a goody from over at Writer’s Digest. I read this one every year.
We’ve talked about the plot before but this is a really good reminder about some methods of plotting from Grammarly.
We’re less than a month away!
I’m excited about getting started and I hope you are as well. Don’t forget to check out the NaNo is Coming post for more NaNo tip and I’ll be posting more soon. Fly safe out there. o7
Latest posts by Joe Forrest (see all)
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