Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rules Clarification

I’m kind of a stickler for rules. Like the idea that a posted speed limit is the maximum allowable speed on given stretch or road rather than a suggestion for the rate of travel below which you are allowed to make obscene gestures to a slower driver in front of you.

So I’ve been kinda’ careful about how much pre-planning I’ve been doing for my novel before November 1st. In No Plot? No Problem! Chris Baty lays down the law that only one week is allowed for novel research prior to beginning the 30-day novel road trip. Yet so many NaNoWriMo participants seem to develop elaborate plot lines and character sketches (exhibited by the thousands of posts on the forums already in mid-October) that I knew I must have missed something. I did.

Dragonchilde (the forums moderator) answered the question about pre-WriMo planning like this:

"Planning isn't against the rules. No Plot? No Problem! is more about writing a book in a month, rather than NaNoWrimo - our rules are a bit different. It's a great guide nonetheless!"

So I checked the FAQ and here’s what I found:

“Outlines and plot notes are very much encouraged, and can be started months ahead of the actual novel-writing adventure. Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death.”

Woo Hoo! Now when my characters are bugging me with details about their lives I’ll feel free to jot them down on the nearest napkin or coworkers forehead before I forget them.

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