Thoughts in advance of NaNoWriMo 2013

On October 1st, not only did certain members of the US House of Representatives decide to take their football and go home (thus ruining the whole Federal Government game for all of us), the website for National Novel Writing Month 2013 went live.

How are these things related?  They’re really not.  They’re wholly independent. But! They are both things that happened on 10/01/2013.

Anywho.  So, NaNoWriMo. Heads up, ambitious writer-types, we’re less than a month away from NaNoWriMo 2013. That means it’s time to get signed up and start laying out that outline. And yes, I know, you don’t outline. You were born a Pantser, you’re going to die a Panster, and they can have your pants when they strip them off your cold, no-longer-needing-constricting-fashionable-pants, lifeless husk of a corpse.

Look, trust me, as someone who has NaNo’d and live to blog about it, you’re going to want an outline if you have any interest in meeting that 30 day goal.  In fact, I’d argue that to “win” NaNo, you’ll need that dreaded, hateful outline almost as much as you’re going to need coffee, Red Bull, a prescription for anti-anxiety pills, and an extra large can of body spray. Can you do it without the outline? Well, sure, I guess you could. That is, it’s not, you know, impossible.

Then again, you could also manage to drive from Portland, ME to Dayton, KY in 12 hours without any assistance by roadmap, GPS, sextant, or spirit guide. But let’s be brutally honest: the odds most certainly won’t be in your favor.

I suppose, though, I shouldn’t belabor the point. Especially since I rambled a bunch of what I figured were key ideas for participating in NaNoWriMo after I finished Longshots last year (10 Things I Learned Doing NaNoWriMo). If you’re interested in a more comprehensive post on the subject, you should probably just read that. Or don’t. Whatever. I’m not sure even I’d listen to me when it comes to anything writing related. It’s not like I apprenticed at the feet of the Hemingway, Steinbeck, or even Saturday Night Live’s writers. I learned my craft in the most terrifying way possible, via the internet and personal experience.

I’m the writing equivalent of the feral boy who was raised by wolves.

Oh, since I know you’re going to ask, no, I don’t expect to be rocking the NaNo this year.  I wouldn’t mind doing it again, honestly. I’ve think that damn-the-torpedoes, jump-to-lightspeed, let’s-see-what-words-we-can-vomit-today method of novel drafting kind of suits me.

That said, it’s almost certainly no the cards for me this year. For reasons.  Good reasons too, I swear! At least, better reasons than I have for most of the stuff I do.  But that’s another post.

The calendar says October, ladies and gentle-scribes. The ominous footsteps of November are thumping heavily on the stairs.

More terrifying—and ultimately satisfying—than Halloween, NaNoWriMo cometh.

Will you be ready?