Lifestyle and Literature: NaNoWriMo, Novels, and New Ideas

By: Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash.com

“Storytelling is the gateway to human existence – something I’ve included in a paper I wrote today in response to Richard Kearney’s “Where Do Stories Come From?” and I must say that I rather enjoyed it. It put quite a lot into perspective when it comes to how I’ve viewed writing up until this point. I remember a certain time in my life, well into my teens, where I’d constantly seek out just about anything that would get me thinking deeply. Somewhere along the way I lost that, until recently. I’ve been challenging my thought process, I’ve been allowing myself to think beyond the ideals that make me comfortable. I wanted to tell stories, explore a variety of different perspectives, all without ever leaving my bed (and or desk). Some may say that this is something to easily acquire while reading, but nothing quite feels like putting those words down on paper yourself. I write to feel a certain sense of fulfilment when I come to the end of a piece or a chapter, eagerly awaiting the start of the next. That kind of progression was something I’d struggled to maintain, but now that I am here, I don’t think I’ll ever leave.”

I have not started outlining my NaNoWriMo 2018 novel, but I’ve been compiling each and every idea that has come to mind in a folder, because I know that one of them will really blossom into something I am quite excited to write about. I have already decided upon the genre of my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel, and while it will be a Mystery/Thriller piece, I want it to take a completely different approach than what I am used to. I really want to go all in on the planning this year, because I really believe it’ll make completing it a lot easier – even if I decide to stray away from the plan entirely – at least there was one there to begin with.

I find that with the current project I am working on, where things went a bit south was when I realized that I was developing my characters as the plot went along without really deciding on any of their attributes. I always found it best to start with a good idea and just see where it goes, but I think that if I were to have a bit of a starting point (or even a background) for some of my main characters, I’d have a bit of an easier time understanding why they do the things they do. I want a full folder sitting on my desktop this year, character profiles, potential outlines, and well on my way to reaching a 50k word count. I wasn’t able to complete NaNoWriMo last year, but I am certainly determined – and entirely ready to make it to the finish line this time around, as well as sharing my experience with you all. I am really excited to see what everyone else’s experiences are like as well, because I know that the hardest thing for me last year was trying to find time to write with an increasingly difficult University schedule. Now that I seem to have gotten the hang of things, I can very well just pick up my laptop during my free time and continue, which is something I’d found very hard to do before.

I also want to set aside more time to delve back into my bookshelf for a bit – it’s a bit lacklustre as of late. I know and have learnt very well that any progress is good progress, and reading stimulates the mind – in turn making it a lot easier to write. So, with that being said, I hope to be back to doing book reviews sometime soon as I am coming up to the end of the current novel I’m reading.

For now, the reoccurring alert in my google calendar is: Get working on that NaNoWriMo Novel Outline because I want to have a clear idea of what I want to do before the actual writing begins next month. I want to do quite a bit of research before the actual writing process begins, and I can’t wait to set aside a section of my writing journal to do just that. The only way that I am to grow as a writer is if I decide it best to learn more about what makes a great novel, about what makes a deep and interesting character, about what is I’ve chosen to write about. As I kick off the research and outlining process, I will be sure to hop right back on here to discuss it. I’ve completed a few NaNoWriMo years in the past, but I’ve never put quite so much work into it and if there’s one thing I can say, it’s “I absolutely can’t wait to start.” November is right around the corner, and only then will the writing begin.

I wish all of you participating this year the best of luck!

Thank you for reading and joining me on this writing journey.

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