NANOWRIMO Kicks off today.

November is the month to write. That's what it's hailed by some people. Those of us who call ourselves writers know every month is filled with writing. But writing is not just a physical act. Before pen touches paper, or in my case, before my fingers tap-tap-tap I've got to have an idea. Not ground breaking but true. There's so much that goes on before the story unfolds that frequently people involved in NaNo are so bent on word counts that the head count is what gets them stuck. There's a time to plant and a time to reap and it's the process of gearing up that will foretell whether you're even around for the reaping.

What to do? Make certain you've carrying more than an elevator pitch, more than a 3-line query, more than a "this sounds good" mental snap-shot.

If you're mehing at this point, already certain I'm about to bring up the "S" word, you're right.
SYNOPSIS. If you don't have one you're not ready. It need not be some version of what you learned in some high school AP lit class, certainly not anything found in college 102 comp class. The synopsis can fit on a napkin or take up ten typed pages. But plan you must even if you're a die-hard panster.

Without a roadmap or some visual of where you intend to go, God help you in getting there or anywhere in a month. Having 50,000 words is not hard. Having 50,000 words that form three very important plots (external, internal, and relationship) may be a bit more tricky. Sure you can edit after the fact. Have you ever...edited a piece that is formed to resemble a spider web? Aha doesn't even begin to describe that feat.

So enough of being a downer. Here's my point.
Start with an idea.
See where it leads.
Who's in the lead?
What do they want (relief, ownership, or payback)?
What's the heck is stopping him, her or them (internally and externally)?
What are you going to throw at them to make certain they have to struggle?

Now, after answering these questions, you're at least grounded enough to begin your journey. There are many other points you can address. Some people use a standard three act plot and set up plot points to strive toward without strict pre-planning. Fine. Still it's somewhat, a structured course of advancing your characters forward. Get it?

Write everyday, no matter if it's just checking in with your characters, write. Eventually they will begin to speak to you, tell you their version of your plot, demand that you listen, and then you know. You're hooked and can't be anything else. You're a writer telling a story.

Be brave and happy trails.
Author of Secret Desire release in 2013 by Etopia Press

My recommendation for the holidays!

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