I had all but decided on doing a Regency romance novel for NaNoWriMo this year. I flipped through my writing notebook for the notes I knew I had about the romance novel idea when I came across a one-line novel idea that struck me as really awesome and super fun. Honestly, I don’t really remember coming up with it in the first place. But once I saw it, I couldn’t get it out of my head, which told me that I probably should focus on it this month and see what happens.
I’m not a planner. Usually when I start a novel, I wing it. I just keep going. If I outline, I find myself stuck more often, as though I’m telling myself subconsciously that I have to follow the outline and can’t stray from it. That’s not true. Of course I don’t have to follow an outline exactly, but try and tell my brain that. But because I couldn’t start writing until November 1, I found myself sketching out some characters and chapter and scene summaries in the days leading up to the day I could start writing.
I feel good about having some things sketched out. My “outline” only goes up to about chapter 6, so after that I’m on my own. But I have a good handle on my characters and everything. Also, in planning, I wrote about half of a query letter. Putting the cart before the horse? Perhaps, but at least it’s a somewhat solid book summary to work with.
Another thing I did, which I’ve never done before, is create a cover for my book. The NaNo website suggests that participants are 60% more likely to finish if they have a cover. I don’t know about that, but I was feeling like doing some design work, I have a new favorite font I wanted to play with, and I found photos I really like, so I created a cover. It really doesn’t actually match up with the novel perfectly, but when do covers ever do that? Anyway, you can see it and follow my progress outside of these updates at my NaNo profile.
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