NaNoWriMo Prep 2021 Part 4
(Read part 1, part 2, and part 3.)
One thought that came to me in the bath (because that’s where all ideas spawn?). Remember that NaNoWriMo is not your final book. It is about getting a draft done. This means that you can break rules. Actually, I’ve found breaking the rules helps me with the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days.
The best example I can give you is to break the “don’t infodump at the start of the book” rule.
The main project I’ll be working on in 2021 is a sci-fi novel. I started it in NaNo2019 from a random word prompt. I really like the first few pages, they’re great action, movie-like opening. The rest of the book definitely will need some pace and action edits to make sure the first few pages aren’t the only good ones 🙂
During NaNo2020 I got stuck because I didn’t feel like I knew enough about the backstory of my character. I went back and started writing about the main character before my story had started. It helped me fill the gaps in why my character is up to no good on the first pages of my book.
You are building your story and the world of your story. What that looks like in a first draft does not, and probably can never, match what a final published book will look like.
What will I do with that infodump/backstory?
There are options:
- Use it as a lead magnet to encourage people to buy my book (they get the story, then want to know more and buy my full novel)
- Use it as a freebie for those who buy my book (they buy my book, and I thank them by giving them the extra story)
- Flesh it out and make it a full-on prequel to the novel
- Keep it for myself and never share it with anyone (but be happy with it as it helped me write the book)
I share these options with you not because you need to decide about how to use “extra” chunks of story during NaNoWriMo, but because there are always ways to use the “info dump” text in the future. If you need to write something during NaNoWriMo to “feel” your story more – do not worry about if you’ll keep it or not. Write it. Learn from it. Decide how to use it later. That’s what editing is for.
By the way, I write a lot about creativity (and creativity with a chronic illness) on my Patreon page. You can join for as little as $AUD 1.50/month.