Every author has their own method of writing, and preparing to write. Some authors might just put their hands to the keyboard (or their pen/pencil to paper) and let the words flow, the characters and story taking shape as they go, while others thoroughly consider every single nuance of the yet untold story before they finally write it down. And naturally, there are varying degrees of authors that fit in-between.
For me, I generally have my beginning and ending solid in my mind, and I've plotted out some key moments that I know must happen throughout the middle. I have my characters' outlines, I have places and descriptions, visual inspirations, and research at the ready before I put my hands to my keyboard. Aside from those few plot points, I generally let my hero and heroine tell me where they want to go. I write out detailed plot points roughly a chapter at a time as ideas come to me, but even those notes are largely dictated by my characters. I've never truly been in control of a story, and when I've tried, my characters have rebelled, and my writing went to a stand-still while I attempted to sort out what I'd done wrong.
As some of you might know, this is my first time participating in NaNoWriMo. It'll also be the fastest that I'll ever have had to write a novel, which is troubling. What I've come to realize, is that I need to pre-plot the novel in more detail so that I spend less time considering what my characters want. My challenge, therefore, is figuring out how to control the story without my characters jumping in the way while I'm in the middle of writing during November.
That's where I'm currently at. Still doing my other work, but also trying to sort this out before I submerge myself in the spirit of NaNoWriMo. I'd genuinely never considered how much preparation went into it before now, and I feel like I really should have known. I have a huge amount of respect for people that do this every year. This is a big, big deal.
Award winning historical romance author, Acquisitions Manager for Pandamoon Publishing, wife, and stay-at-home mom of four. Chocoholic, nerd, & bath bomb enthusiast.