Monday, 31 October 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011: The Plot

I promised myself that for this year’s NaNo novel I would write something that’s 100% fun. No complex subplots, no political allegory, nothing pretentious. No highbrow – that’s my motto for this project. I just want to write 50,000 words of light-hearted fun. Fluff, really.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

I’m editing my current WIP (Reckless) and it’s HARD. I bloody hate editing with a passion. It’s dull, it’s never ending and it just reminds me over and over again that I’m just not good enough yet. Ugh. So I’m hoping that writing this little bit of fluff will be a nice way to spend the rest of my day, once my editing is done, of course.

The only issue I have is that, as I said in my first NaNo post, I only just decided to take part. As in, 10am on the 30th October I was convinced by some pals (via Twitter) to sign up again. And so, I did. I am so unorganised it’s ridiculous and all I can do at this point is jump in head first and hope for the best.

I’m spending a bit of time today trying to decide vaguely what the loose plot might be. I don’t even have characters…or an ending or beginning or anything. Just my trusty title (Under the Influence) and setting (university). So, to try and give me some ideas I’ve been looking through my own university pictures and brain storming things that happened to me and my house mates during our first year of uni that I might want to mention and dramatise.

I’m not going to lie, my time at university was not about studying – when I was a fresher, at least. When I got further into my course I did a lot of studying but during first year it was all about partying. My tutors would kill me for saying this but it really is important to get it out of your system, I think so at least. Go mad in your first year – go out, drink too much, walk home at 3am crying because that guy you like danced with someone else, Facebook stalk hot guys from your course and ‘accidentally on purpose’ rub up against them in the SU, maybe even *gasp* have a bit of sex, followed by an extremely awkward bus journey the next day when you realise that guy you were never meant to see again is actually on your course. Dooo it! Sorry for going off topic but, yes, that’s my advice for your first year of university. You don’t have to do the sex part but you will, it’s inevitable.

Oh, and make sure you get 40% or the party’s over.

Anyway, what I was meant to be writing about is the non-existent plot of my NaNo novel. I do have a nifty little list of things I want to include and I’m going to try and do a 20 point plot plan this afternoon. Ugh, and characters. I really need characters. I’m also going to make sure absolutely nothing from Fresh Meat ends up in it, not that I don’t love Fresh Meat but I need to make a conscious effort to write something entirely different.

How much do you plan your NaNo novel? Do you go in completely blind and wing it or do you at least have some structure in place? If you do have a plan do you make sure you stick to it or do you allow yourself some freedom? I think I’m going to settle on a rough plan and an ending but keep the rest open for whatever my (currently non-existent) characters decide is going to happen.

(This was my university. It is the best place in the entire world)


  1. This is my third year participating and the least prepared I have ever been. I think the adrenaline over the last couple of days worked some ideas into my head, I feel good about starting soon. My username is cinnamon.quill if you wanna find me. :)

    Break a leg and bleed ink!

  2. Hi Carly. Found you through Twitter (@awesomeorchid, who is my awesome sister).
    I'm already on board with NaNo. It's my first year and I have prepared nothing. I have a bit of a novel I've been ignoring for years which I might start with to see what can be salvaged, but anything could happen. My username is Lunar Hine - so no shortage of inspiration there!
    Glad you had such a good time at uni. You probably know I grew up in Bath. I even attended some lectures at the uni with friends and my boyfriend when I was 15 and 16. (I should have been at school!)
    Reeling from the shock that I might be writing chicklit. I know. Thought I was so cerebral, but it turns out not so much. I'll leave that to my sister.
    Anyway, enough procrastination - blog post explaining upcoming absence of my own to write.

  3. I've been participating for a few years, but this is the first time I have really planned out my novel. My username is cherry_chez if you want to find me. Good luck with Nano.

  4. I never had that university experience! But I think it'd be fun to read about .. good luck to you on NaNo!


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