Tag Archives: PrepOutMon

PrepOutMon-day: Goodnight

So… How are you doing? Did you have a good weekend? Did you do anything special? Um, I had some major writing plans for this weekend. Here is how that went down:

Friday night: I was all set to participate in @FriNightWrites #WriteClub. It is a space in cyberland, dedicated to writing sprints and motivation via Twitter. I put my daughter in bed and realized that I did not have an ounce of energy left to stay awake, let alone write. I was asleep well before 10:00 pm.

Saturday: I decided to write and  re-map an idea that had taken a turn I didn’t like after a brainstorm writing session last week. Instead, I took a 2 hour nap. I didn’t even feel bad. That nap felt so good. So good that…

Sunday: Took another nap. Football makes me sleepy.

Monday morning:  Here I am with a PrepOutMon update to share and I’ve got nothing. No new story maps. No brainstorm writing sessions to tell you about. But! I did have a great idea for a book upon waking from my nap on Sunday. I will be mapping that this week. Bonus: It is a YA book, which is really what I want to write.

This Week’s PrepOutMon Summary: 0 words written. 0 ideas mapped. 1 new idea. Tons o’ hope that this week will be more productive. Stay tuned!

I need some motivation. Did anyone have a great writing weekend? Breakthroughs? Tell me about it. Heck, brag about it. You deserve it!

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PrepOutMon-day: With An Idea And a Bus Pass…

I thought it would be convenient to dedicate Monday posts to preparation for NaNoWriMo, aka PrepOutMon. (If you want to know what PrepOutMon is all about, check out PrepOutMon’s grand unveiling.)

Why Monday? First, there is a possibility that I can write and work beyond nap schedules while my husband is home during the weekend. If all goes as planned, I can share the weekend’s progress with you on Mondays! Second, some writers might want to go through this process with me, but don’t give two stinks about my mom-life or random thoughts. I’ve made it easy. Stop by on Monday! Ignore the other days. Third, PrepOutMon-day is “cute.”

Do you think I am stalling because I haven’t made any progress with PrepOutMon? Wrong! I have begun mapping one of my favorite story ideas onto index cards. This is not writing, but it is work. On these index cards I am beginning to map out the story to see if anything interesting is really there. The original “idea” is a word, a portmanteau. So figuring out if this word is big enough to convey a story does take some work.

So far, I have 20 cards and scrap pieces of paper. The first card has the story idea and the original inspiration of the idea. I included the inspiration to help set the mood of the story and to bring me back to the moment in case I get stuck and/or realize the story or the interest lies within another aspect of that “aha  idea moment.” I have index cards with character points on them. Other cards have possible plot points that I can shuffle to fit the story or remove if they don’t work. I have cards with potential plot problems. I don’t even know how to deal with some of these problems. Other problems may not even become relevant as I get into the writing. That is exciting!

Stack o' mapping

Stack o’ mapping

So I am in a story mapping phase. I have never done this before. Typically, I have an idea and start writing. But this hasn’t worked for me, so I’m going to try a more systematic approach. A systematic  approach helped me with writing up research, so maybe it will help with fiction too. My goal is to start NaNoWriMo with a map of the world(s), characters, problems–a map that I can build upon and tear away at as I write.

Interested in story-mapping but don’t know where to start? Check out The Writer’s Compass by Nancy Ellen Dodd. Obviously, this book is about her “aha” moment in understanding the writing process. We don’t necessarily all want to write like Nancy Ellen Dodd, because that would be weird. But if you are interested in mapping, you might find a technique or approach that you can alter to jive with your personal style. I am using a bastardized version of her index card approach to story mapping. She is a tad too plan-y and index-y for my taste.

Next Monday I hope to have a few more index-card maps for other story ideas. I have adult and children’s fiction ideas, so I need to figure out which age-group I want to choose for NaNoWriMo. So work to do and hopefully I’ll see you back here Monday. If not, I’m happy to write to myself about the process too.

NaNoWriMo PrepOutMon

I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo. Yes, I know NaNoWriMo isn’t until November. So why the rush? I am determined to meet the challenge! Not just for the cool NaNoWriMo gift that I will present to myself upon completion. No, no. I am not that shallow. (I am.) I need to prove to myself that I can manage my time between mom-ing and writing. And with a toddler, this is going to take some major organization on my part.

My NaNoWriMo History:

  • 2011- I joined the NaNoWriMo frenzy. I completed my 50,000-word “novel” by the skin of my teeth. The result was a halfway-decent idea and word-garbage (a.k.a., a “novel”).
  • 2012- In a sleep-deprived moment I thought, “I can do NaNoWriMo this month!” However, 20 minutes later, I remembered that I only had time to nurse, eat, and hold my 3-month-old baby 24/7. So I didn’t even start.

My 2011 Trophy

But, y’all, it is 2013. Things are going to be different. So on 9/1/2013, I am starting my own event: NaNoWriMo PrepOutMon (National Novel Writing Month Preparation And Outline Months). Let’s agree to just call it PrepOutMon.

Once a week, for two months, I will spend time planning this novel–generating some solid novel ideas, selecting one concept, and outlining the crap out of this book. I’ll update you on my progress once a week, just to keep me honest.

PrepOutMon progress to date:

  • I plan to get organized…
  • And blogged about it.

Who wants to join me? I’m talking to you, Heather! Anyone else?