I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I had been working on a novel over the last few months but it kind of fizzled and I finally declared it dead last week. So now I’m in brainstorming mode for a new novel. I have what I think could be a cool idea, but part of why the previous novel fizzled was my lack of a full outline. I have done enough writing by now to know that I need to lay a lot of groundwork ahead of time or else I end up getting stuck and hopeless and don’t get anywhere.

It would be a frustrating waste for me to try to write 50,000 words without a good plan, so instead I’m going to try to spend some time every day this month on planning the next novel. I want to get everything figuredĀ out, down to the chapter level and possible even the scene-by-scene level. I want to have all my places and characters named so the book doesn’t end up so full of placeholders that I can’t keep track of what’s going on anymore. The idea is to remove all obstacles to the actual writing.

If all of that goes well and I have something I’m happy with before the end of the month, then I might actually start writing. But I want to really plan this one out carefully. I know first drafts always suck, but I think by doing this, I can (a) minimize the suckage, and (b) maximize the likelihood that I’ll actually be able to follow through once I do start writing.

Good luck to everyone tackling NaNoWriMo this year!