NaNoWriMo is less than two months away. Some of us are already thinking about what we’ll be writing come November 1st, and some are already planning heavily.
I’m not usually much of a planner. Tried the snowflake method last year. As someone who is usually a pantser, I found it far too structured and regimented. I can’t force an outline. Nothing good comes if I make myself think of a plot or a scene or a chapter or a mid-point disaster. And my NaNo last year was pretty much epic fail. So I’m relaxing a bit this year and just letting the plot come to me.
But I need somewhere to keep all the little bits as they filter in. Last year I made a private blog, but that didn’t really work. It was pretty, well-tagged, easily searchable and editable and stuff. But I had to go online to view it, and while I was writing, that did NOT work. Too distracting to have to open the browser. And if I got an idea while I was doing the laundry or the dishes (yep, I get most of my ideas while I’m doing housework) I’d have to jot it down on a scrap of paper or in a notebook and hope I remembered to transfer it to the blog once I got on the computer.
So I’m going back to pen and paper for my planning. I go through a whole lot of notebooks. The filled up ones always have some plotting or planning or brainstorming or something in them left over after I tear out the pages I don’t need. I have dozens all around the house with bits and pieces of forgotten stuff. It’s a travesty, really. I’ve tried to keep all that kind of stuff in Scrivener, but transcribing from handwritten is such a pain in the ass. I’ve tried apps like Evernote and SpringPad which sync between my handy dandy Droid and the computer, but… yeah not so much. My brain works so much better with pen and paper. I thought about using a ringbinder, but talk about cumbersome, plus, I’d likely be too lazy to actually put the sheets of paper in the binder *headdesk* I have used a document file before, but it wasn’t the best way of organising things.
So I bought myself some hardcover exercise books. Lecture books they’re called here, but I’m not sure what they call them in the States. It’s just a school book with a hard cover. 188 pages, and I reckon that’s plenty for anything I’m going to write. One of my NaNo options is an urban fantasy/paranormal with worldbuilding and an epic cast of characters, and it looks like it’s going to be fine for that. I figure these will be useful to keep, with all my planning and reference info in, for editing, for subsequent books in the same universe (the NaNo option I’m talking about right now is actually the third book I will write in this universe, and the sequel to the book I wrote for NaNo two years ago). And they fit nicely on the bookshelf without slipping and sliding away. Hopefully they’ll reduce the amount of abandoned spiral bound notebooks in this house.
I attached wee tabs (after making quite sure I’d have enough room for everything) on some of the pages so I could easily find what I need. I basically want everything I need to start writing to be in one, physical, easily navigated place, in a format that doesn’t stress me out as I compile all my information. I want to be able to chuck it in my bag and take it with me if I have to leave the house during NaNo, so I have my story (bones, but still) right there in my hands if I feel the need to reconnect with it.
I’ll let you know how I go as I fill it up and get closer to November :D