NaNoWriMo starts in nine days. I am excited for my story. So exited, that I have started writing a little. Sure, it's sort of cheating, but it also means I can maybe end up with more than 50,000 words at the end of November (50,000 words is a pretty short book). I can't remember exactly how many times I have started a NaNo event, but this is the first that I am starting with anything resembling an outline.
In fact, I have two outlines, a list of character names and notes about possible side plots, research I have done, and some other random stuff lying around. I have a couple of library books that I reading to try to help with the setting and those tiny details that can help ground a story and make it feel more authentic. This is a weird place for me to be.
You see, I am what's known as a pantser. Every other time I have started NaNo it has been with a sense of the plot (but no outline), only a couple characters at the heart of the story, and some idea of where I was going, but no map. This time, I am trying this new "plotter" identity out. I have no idea if it is going to work. I don't know if I have stifled some of my creativity this way. I know I have thought through the story more, and more productively, than ever before.
I have no idea if it will translate into success. I know there are places that I will sort out as I go. I have a pretty good sense of where I am going, the tragedies I plan to throw in, a few of the supporting characters and how they will add to the story, and a better sense of where the highs and lows have to be for the story to work. But this is a weird little experiment. Only time will tell if this pantser can change herself into a plotter, or whether November is going to be a giant mess. my bet is that it's going to have been useful to do all this work ahead of time while leaving enough holes to fill in as I go. It does nothing to change the feeling that every time I start a book it feels a lot like I have never done it before. 50,000 or bust!