NaNoWriMo Week One

triceratopsNovember is a crazy month for me. Along with one son’s birthday, my husband’s birthday, several nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays, Thanksgiving (including family coming to town), an annual weekend event at Church, acquiring and editing stories for Havok’s January issue, and various other life-related things, I’m also trying to write a novel.

So far, I’m still keeping up. Granted, it’s only Day Five, so I still have a lot left to do, but as yet, I’m on target to finish.

I posted earlier about brainstorming for this novel. I am definitely a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer, or, a “pantser” not a “plotter.” I actually tried plotting and outlining last year and ended up creating a lot more work for myself. I kept trying to hang out in the outlined box, and that wasn’t where the story wanted to go, so I ended up copy/pasting things into different places and rewriting a bunch in order to make it fit. I’m still not done with that one.

This year, I took a different route. Instead of outlining the plot, I decided to outline the characters. I spent some time figuring out who was who, what the world was like (worlds, actually), what the ship was like, the names of the characters and alien races, and so on.

I have a general outline of what’s going to happen. I’m incorporating a bunch of elements from my previous brainstorming, including plot and character suggestions all the wonderful people who commented there. But, for the most part, I’m letting the plot unfold as it chooses, which is a more efficient method for me.

So, without further ado, I give you the synopsis for The Flight to Alzador:

Dryce is on his way to meet his parents on the newly-colonized planet, Alzador, when the transport ship he’s on is taken over by aliens. Dryce and the other kids on the ship must find a way to take back the ship before they are sold into slavery on a distant mining planet. 

Oh, and there may or may not be an appearance by an ex-pirate with a baby triceratops cyborg.

And on to write!


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

6 comments on “NaNoWriMo Week One

  1. Interesting! I tried to be a plotter too. I tried really hard. Really, really hard. So hard, I actually have a book with a fifteen page outine.

    And you know what I found out?

    When my brain, the creative voice in me, sees that much effort go into a project, it says, “Oh, hey! That story’s written! On to the next!”…and I never actually write the story.

    I did, however, have success using a very light, sort of loose “story map” that charted things like the inciting incident (one sentence), the first plot point (point of no return, also one sentence), the first pinch point (again, a sentence), and so on. Then, I wrote to those scenes, and finished the book. Not my best work, but boy, did that ever convince me I was a plotter. Outliners, move over! I’m HERE, and I’ll be KING!

    Unfortunately, the deeper the outline, the more my creative mind says the book’s written. I have no interest in writing over and over again.

    So, you’re pantsing your way along and you have a character, in a context, with a problem. That’s what Algis Budrys says is required for the opening of a story. Any story. And it will work, every time.

    So you go. Pants away. Can you guess how I’ll be writing most of my books, if not all of them, from now on?

    That’s right, I’m going to read my old outlines and write them. *Sigh*

  2. I can just see it. When the ex-pirate is asked why he/she had the cyborg created in the form of a baby triceratops, he/she replies, “Isn’t it obvious? An adult triceratops wouldn’t have fit in the hold of a spaceship!”

    And maybe baby trikes are super loyal and relatively easy to tame / train, as well as transport. The cyborg implant releases hormones and nanobots that keeps the baby animal from growing up.

    Maybe the plan is that once they got to a planet where they could settle down, the implant would be removed and the triceratops could grow up.

    Maybe the original plan was that there were two baby trikes, a male and female, but only one is left right now, which makes the whole plan kind of sad. How lonely the little herd animal would be without a herd! The ex-pirate doesn’t know how it’s going to work out, because he/she already spent all the hard-won cash on the two trikes and the trip to a planet. Maybe they’ll have to go back to pirating to fund another triceratops.


    Just throwing that out there, in case any of it helps.

  3. Great idea about outlining your characters rather than the plot. I must fall somewhere in between pantsing and plotting. For NaNo this year, I’m starting with a general idea of the beginning, some scenes i want to include, and background for the main characters. Leaving the story open seems to work for me, I’m discovering character and plot twists I didn’t know about. Over-planning the story takes all the fun of discovery out, and makes me just want to get through the writing but in a less fun way. 🙂

  4. […] pretty much skipped blogging for all of November. I blogged the first week, talking about my NaNoWriMo project, but then between NaNo and Thanksgiving, I unprioritized blogging in a big […]

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