I had ambitions to stay up late and complete my first few hundred words for NaNoWriMo–haha! Too much Halloween fun. But I have been working hard all week to mentally prepare, and I spent a bit of time this evening trying to convince my friend Mark to take the challenge, for mutual moral support. He’s a natural storyteller with three chapters down already, a synopsis of which I was happy to hear tonight (he’s building a YA story, kind of a Prairie-Home-Companion-meets-Practical-Magic, with several points of view, not something I feel good about doing in my writing).
I’ve been reading everything but my outline and notes, with plans to set aside No Plot, No Problem as well as Novelist’s Essential Guide to Creating Plot when the writing begins. Lots of how-to books on writing are terrible, but some are at least inspiring. Between the two (and I want it to be known that the latter was chosen without even a passing thought to the irony of the pairing) I’ve got a good feeling about the level of outlining I’ve done. I don’t want to overthink it, and I don’t want to work aimlessly.
One fun preparation activity suggested by the “NPNP” kit is called the Magna Carta I and II. Part I asks you to list novel elements you really love in novels (a few of mine were utopias, generation ships, forests and quests), and Part II asks for things you despise (such as rogues as love interests, bosom-heaving, evil children, and talking animals). Consider making lists like these for inspiration down the road.