Business first: The Reader's Choice Contest is still going on! Go to the Fiction Affliction columns at Tor.com, scroll down and read synopses of all the urban fantasy, YA paranormal, paranormal romance (print only), science fiction, and/or epic fantasy coming out this month, pick the one you most want. Then come back here and leave a comment. Open internationally. As always, extra point for following the blog and another for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson.
Okay, now on to National Novel Writing Month. I did it last year for the first time and it was a colossal mess. I decided to try abandoning my OCD plotting tendencies, jump right in armed only with an idea and an opening scene dancing in my head, and write. So I wote. A lot. By the time November 30 rolled around, I had 59,000 new words.
But, as we all know, 59K does not a novel make, and I had reached "the end."
So in December and January, I went back and retroactively plotted the novel. Subtract February and March for revisions on another book. In April, May, June and July I rewrote the book using my new outline. 94K. Much better, although I saw some inherent problems. What I wrote during NaNo was a pure paranormal romance. What I wrote during the subsequent months was essentially an urban fantasy. I thought I had woven them together but I ended up with a genre fence-sitter.
So, here's the cautionary tale as NaNo starts up again and I intend to spend this year's NaNo rewriting last year's NaNo....again. If you are a plotter, do not start NaNo without doing your advance work. Unless you want to be working on 2010's NaNo project again in 2011.