I picked up the book No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty at the bookstore on Saturday. I didn't realize at the time he was the guy that started NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I had read a quick blurb on the Chapters website, but hadn't paid close attention to the author bio. It just sounded like a good book.
I started reading the book on Saturday when I got home and quickly realized it was a guide to the NaNoWriMo. And it was hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud. At one point I had to put the book down because the snorting was making me tear up. The guy is a riot. And he describes the writing process in a way anyone who has ever written or wanted to write can easily relate to. I couldn't put the book down. I called Maxx and told her she had to go buy this book now and come November we had to take part in NaNoWriMo.
I had really wanted to do NaNoWriMo last year, but I was near the end of revisions on The Outlaw Bride and wanted to finish things up once and for all so I could start marketing the book to agents and editors. Next year, I told myself. Next year I would definitely do it.
So this year in setting my goals, I arranged to have my two manuscripts (Finding Home and Desire & Brimstone) finished by October 31st. In time for entry into the Golden Heart and also out of the way in time for NaNoWriMo.
I had no idea what I would work on for NaNoWriMo. I wanted it to be something brand spanking new. An idea I hadn't already fleshed out in my head. But I had until November, so there wasn't a time crunch on that one. I'd come up with something. Finding ideas has never been a problem. Finding the time to write them all, that's the problem. Of course, if I could whip off a rough first draft in 30 days...
As I'm reading the book, Chris Baty mentions summer camp in a passage. All of a sudden an idea sparks. Characters jump into my head, secondary characters, motivation, conflict, backstory. It's all swimming around the creative whirlpool of my brain. I scribble it down. Two pages later, I have the rough outline of an idea for my NaNoWriMo. I put the page away, refusing to give it any more time. I want to go into NaNoWriMo fresh, without the idea being fleshed out and outlined in great detail. I want to take the rough outline and run with it like mad to see where it takes me.
I can't wait for November.