Posted by: victanguera | October 24, 2011

Plot? What Plot?: NaNo Preparation

This will be my fifth year doing NaNo. Well, except that I can’t really count last year. Although I signed up, I spent most of November in Buenos Aires dancing tango and shopping for shoes, not writing. And the two years prior to that felt like an absolute failure, even though I managed to complete 50,000 words. One year, I used NaNo to do re-writes (not really a valid word count) and the second year I abandoned the story shortly after NaNo ended. And haven’t looked at it once since.

So this year, I’m taking a different approach. Or more accurately, the same approach I took the first year: write with absolutely no idea what the story is, who the characters are, or even if a plot exists. You see, I’m a pantser. The inner critic in me (and many other websites supporting her), have tried to turn me into a plotter. And all either have succeeded in doing is turning me in to a non-writer.

But in order to quiet my critic, I’m intending to trick her. You see, I’ve told her that I’m not writing a story, I’m writing an outline. And a large detailed, 50,000 word outline. I haven’t heard a word from her since.



  1. Bravo! Mind if I borrow your trick? 😉 My Inner Critic is very upset with me for not being freaked out about my utter lack of PLAN for November… 😉

  2. Of course. What ever tricks work. And good luck with NaNo :}

  3. This year I’m actually really and truly plotting it. To the point of deciding each character beforehand and working out what the major plots really are and where they’ll all end up. I’ve never done that before to this extent but I need a draft of this story to finish and work properly, so I suspect this is the only way to make it happen.

    The trick is maintaining a balance between plot and story and giving the novel a lot of wiggle room to surprise me with.

  4. I’ve never done NaNo (I can’t even imagine doing it), but if I did, I would totally pants it. just start,”A teenage girl walks into a bar…” (though I already sort of used that one).

    Also, I’m guessing that a lot of people who are doing NaNo would go for the alternative (Buenos Aires/dancing/shoes) if they had the choice. 🙂

    • Pantsing has great similarities to reading. We also have no idea where the story is headed. It gives great room for creativity. But the necessary re-writes can be enormous.

      Buying shoes and spending time in Buenos Aires can certainly be more fun than NaNo. But only when the writing isn’t going well. Then anywhere would be more fun 🙂

  5. AWESOME! …let’s pant together!

    …and since I only have 18 days to write, you had better beat my word count!

  6. okay, that ended up sounding rather… *wrong* on so many levels…

    PANTS together… leaving out that ‘s’ was a horrible mistake…

    • Hahaha, thought for a second you wanted to take up maybe poll dancing or something.

      • Poll dancing? …was that a stab at my poor spelling? 😉

  7. No, at mine. ::face palm::

    • hahahahahaha 😀

      Poll dancing it is 😉 With some panting

  8. I like the tango and shoe shopping idea…. 😉

  9. Beats writing. But from the sounds of things, this year I’m going to pole dance and pant. Or poll dance with pants. Or something. Maybe I should write about pants that take polls while dancing.

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