The Process | Part 1

nanowrimoWriting is a process. I’ve always thought that, but it’s only been lately that I’ve honestly tried to pick it apart, at least my own process. That’s because up until 2012 I hadn’t focused on writing larger works. I had been content with shorter pieces like short stories and poetry, which didn’t require too much picking apart. But to write over 100 pages of prose requires a breaking down of plot in a way I had never thought of before.

And every November I put that process to the test, participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Some years I go into it unprepared, waiting for the muse to take over after I’ve already started the story, and others I come in with a character list, a plot summary, and an ending already mapped out. Either way, however, I put the process to the test. It looks something like this…

  1. Is my story going to be character driven or setting driven? Or both?
  2. Is my protagonist one character or two?
  3. What is my point of view?
  4. What will my story progression look like?
  5. Will this be a mystery or not?
  6. What will be my starting sentence?
  7. Who is my supporting cast?
  8. Add details.

This year I had absolutely no idea where I was going to go with my story. All I knew was that I had a male protagonist, that I was going to write in third person, and that my goal was 2,000 words per day. So far, through three days of NaNoWriMo I have a male protagonist who has already run into a couple of surprises. I have been writing it in a present tense, third person narrative. And I’ve hit my 2,000 words per day. It only gets harder from here, though.

Word Count: 6,713 words.


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