kerri buckley and nanowrimo 2005

Pacific Northwest writer Kerri Buckley blogs about National Novel Writing Month in November, 2005.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Gearing Up

Three days before the official start of National Novel Writing Month. I admit that I'm nervous. My bedroom, living room and dining room are covered in stacks of books about writing a novel, and my notebooks are out and ready to go. I have an old laptop that I love, coffee on hand, and hot chocolate packs stashed. According to the rules of NaNoWriMo, you cannot begin one word until midnight, November 1. No pre-event great beginnings, or profound endings. You can, however, gear up with outlines, notes, and cards.

One place that I found to help structure a novel is at Randy Ingermanson's website. His Snowflake Method of outlining sounds interesting, and I'm working that out this weekend. You can find the method at If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed like me, this may help a little, or a lot, depending on how much structure you need in order to feel sane. This Snowflake Method teaches you how to organize by spreadsheets. How interesting is that?

I'm also using the Marshall Plan. I don't want to organize too much, but I need to have a balance of free-flowing creativity and order. The Marshall Plan has a method, too, of organizing form according to novel length, points of view, and conflict and crisis criteria.

While it is very basic, it is a good thing to study.