I know, I know, that’s a sure sign that you should run for cover. The fact is, NaNoWriMo is sneaking up on us and since I won’t start writing my great novel until November first, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept, the characters and how I’m going to market it.
Yep, you heard me correctly, I’ve not even written the dang thing yet and I’m already looking at ways to grab your attention and get you to read it. I had thought I was alone in this when I was introduced to another writer’s blog, where she discusses the exact same thing. Debrah Riley-Magnus wrote:
“You know I’m a writer, but I’m also a publicist. When I write, I let the concepts for the book’s future flow through me and onto a cool little note pad I keep to the side. Those thoughts are vital, they will plot the road to success. I’m receiving those thoughts because they are elemental to the creative project at hand.”
Let me tell you where I am right now, with my NaNoWriMo project. This is how I start most of my longer tales.
I have a basic document template in .DOC format that has all my basic settings pre-configured. That gets loaded and then Saved-As in a new folder with the working title of the story. In this case, the working title is Cloud Dancer, so my filename is Cloud_Dancer_Notes.doc.
The first thing I did was start a very rough, stream-of-consciousness series of notes. This includes scenes, technology, locations and situations that I want to include. The next thing I did was generate a list of character names. Each name had a paragraph of two, describing their appearance, personality and relationship to the other characters.
And finally, I have been surfing the web, doing research on the time, place and major personalties that my characters might encounter.
As we progress, I’ll share some of these notes. Keep in mind that once the tale starts to unfold, things are expected to change as the characters take over. I so love it when that happens.
The notes file also gives me a place to add promotional ideas. Cloud Dancer is going to be a steampunk tale, so it will be told with the Maker spirit and attention will be paid to device descriptions and operation.
It will take place in the area around southwest Australia, in the late thirties.
Stay tuned now, more to come!