Seat of my Pants: #NaNoWriMo2016 and Improvisation vs. Planning

I’m three days into National Novel Writing Month 2016, that yearly event that occurs every November since 1999. I’d explain what it is, but their official webpage does such a great job I figure I’d exercise my God-given right to copy-and-paste. Take it away, NaNoWriMo.org!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

Why am I doing this when I have so many other irons in the fire, including two completed novels I’m getting ready to get out there and another one that’s about 3/4 finished, not to mention this blog, a job, and a family?

Because 1) I’m insane, and 2) I might as well get another crazy idea of mine written while it’s not. 

And so far NaNoWriMo has kept me diligent on my other projects as well. 

It’s weird, but sticking to the deadline for my NaNoWriMo project had made me more enthusiastic to work on my other writing. 

Connect with me if you’re doing it to. I’m going by the handle Alexopoulos. My novel is called The Mystic. It’s a sci-fi legal/political thriller set on a space station outside the orbit of Neptune. And there’s a lawyer. 

It’s an idea I’ve had for a while. I’ve got y beginning and my end, and I’m just working out the details in between. 

I don’t outline. I never outline. I keep it all in my head. 

I’ll tell you why I do this: I love spontenaiety. 

Everybody’s different, and everybody had a different method that works for them. This is why not outlining works for me. 

I’m one of these weird people for whom, when something is written down, it becomes permanent. It’s almost totemistic. It becomes solid. Whether it’s words or music, I find it difficult to break out of a structure once a structure is made. 

To me, you make things permanent when they’re done. 

(Again, I’m not making a value judgment here. Everybody is different. This is just what works for me).

I get ideas from everywhere, and love changing them on the fly, always performing a test to see if they’re still consistent with my theme, and provide the appropriate balance

Think of a structure hanging by a string. If you put a lot of dangly things on one end, it’ll lean that way. You want to put other dangly things on the other end. There may be more, there may be fewer, and the dangly things themselves may be of a different material. But the idea is to get the structure (mostly) into a state of balance. Of harmony.

In other words, you want it to make sense

Unless, of course, you don’t. That’s the beauty of art, I suppose. 

So come check it out. I’m on pace to finish on time, but as usual, life may get in the way. But it’ll be fun regardless. 

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here

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