Pantsing NaNo 2016?

It’s still completely up in the air — whether or not I’ll do NaNoWriMo this year. On the one hand, I’d like to get a first draft of A Well-Educated Boy written. On the other, I have too much on my plate right now to spend the necessary time to get all my notes into a more or less coherent shape. Since I have no idea yet how I want to structure the thing, my usual planning for NaNo can’t happen without an expenditure of time and energy that isn’t available.

The story is first person YA SF that probably won’t work in a normal chronological order, so trying to whip it into shape before it’s written, in time for NaNo, is just going to be an exercise in frustration. I could probably sit down and crank the whole thing out in a couple of weeks, but then would come the most massive revisions I’ve ever had to deal with — putting everything in a logical order.

The more I think about it, the more it seems as if that could actually work. So what I’m now considering is just writing scenes based on the material I already have, but without trying to put them in any order. In other words, pants the heck out of it, and deal with the mess later. I’ll still be editing as I go, as I always do, because “mess” does not mean incoherent sentences, misspelled words, etc. I have so many notes about the characters, the changes Hart goes through, the events that take place, and the background for the story that it probably won’t be too difficult to just open up my brain and spill whole scenes. All I’ll be leaving out during November is how to order and connect them. What I’ll wind up with, to work on in 2017, is the meat-covered bones without the joints to make them hang together. Looked at that way, it’s kind of scary, since I’ve never worked that way. But what’s life without challenges?

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2 thoughts on “Pantsing NaNo 2016?

  1. I’m in a similar conundrum. I want to do NaNoWriMo again this year, and it might be a good idea, but I don’t know if I’ll have time because of work and the rest of my life.

    1. I’ve only skipped one year since I started doing NaNo, and almost skipped last year. But I managed to scrape through with 52,000 words, and I’m glad I stuck with it. That novel is about 77,000 words now. If I hadn’t don’t NaNo, it would probably still be just notes right now. I keep dipping into this year’s possible novel, but I probably won’t make a final decision until the last minute. Here’s hoping for both of us.

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