Saturday, November 1, 2014
The Writer at the Gates of Dawn: NaNoWriMo—Day 1
National Novel Writing Month 2014 is finally here, and the previous weeks' apprehension and doubt seem as a distant fever dream, every bit as ridiculous as they are gone. Like so many, I eagerly awaited the strike of midnight to begin this year's novel. The paralysis of staring into the abyss of a blank page lasted no more than thirty minutes, and by 1am I had done away with the pressures that once plagued the entirety of past Novel Writing Months. Though there will no doubt be pressures galore as my word count struggles under duress of the looming deadline, the battle is already won: I remembered that NaNoWriMo is meant to be fun.
There's still much work to be done, both on the page and off; I fully intend to make a serious attempt at completing a novel worthy of publication, and that calls for outlines, notes, and timelines. A few months ago, using graph paper, I designed a timeline specific to the composition of this novel in particular. It's meant to enable me to divide a single, 35-year timeline into five 7-year portions:
I think it will take a system of color-coded symbols and indicators, as with footnotes, that correspond to entries on an accompanying number of pages fleshing out the basic narrative in chronological order.
Honestly, this level of organization and planning has me inordinately excited.
There's also a decent amount of research to be done in terms of necessary story details, in addition to the standard technical studies and review of inspirational materials—works in a similar milieu or style, works that keep me motivated.
Much as it won't always feel as such, there's plenty of time for all of that. Soon the pressure will mount, of course, and the material itself will no doubt play a part in weighing me down as well. For now, it's wonderful just to have awakened on November 1st with a few quality paragraphs under my belt. Time for a little more sauntering into the work's early stages. It's a glorious morning to be a writer...