National Novel Writing Month begins on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 and runs through the end of the month. In case this is your first introduction to #NANOWRIMO, the goal is to write 50,000 words during the month. If you’re a math whiz, you’ll know that this equates to 1,666 words per day. Or, very long weekends!
Although I’ve written 30 books, all of them are non-fiction. However, I did my best to prepare by taking two online courses: J.F. Penn’s How to Write a Novel and Sara Rosett’s How to Outline a Cozy Mystery. I considered doing a time travel novel as that’s more where my heart is, but for now I’m going to try my hand at the cozy.
Honestly, though. I get so hung up in worrying about plotting that I make myself nuts. Right now I think the best thing I can do is just start writing and see where the stories leads. I guess that makes me a pantser, not a plotter. Ok.
I’m going to do my best to check in here every Friday with a word count and comment on the process. I invite you to join me. Let’s see what we can create.
I recently completed a 10-week course at Gotham Writers’ Workshop, under instructor Carole Bugge. Carol is the author of the novels The Star of India, The Haunting of Torre Abbey and several “Who Killed” novels. I learned so much about character, plotting and setting that I feel far more confident about tackling a mystery novel than I did before. If you ever get a chance to take one of the Gotham courses I recommend them; I was in a class with incredibly talented writers so getting critiques from them really meant something. I learned more about pacing and why it’s not always a good idea to kill someone off in the first line of the book.
Right now I’m working on a first draft of a cozy, hoping to have it done before fall and/or winter roll around.
There’s something daunting about tackling a novel for long-time non-fiction writers – at least it is for this writer. If you’ve always written non-fiction and are now starting a novel I’d love to connect and share notes. I’m going to post some work-in-progress notes on the site. Feel free to comment.