Friday, October 21, 2005

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo: Borrowing wisdom from the Hero's Journey

Staring down the prospect of cranking out 50,000 words is not for the faint of heart. That's a lot of text; even if I just sat down and typed 2,000 words, pure stream of consciousness, every day for a month, I'd still probably wither before finishing. That's where planning, encouragement, and dedication come in.

As far as planning goes, I'm going to work with a few of the folks around here to plan out where my novel is going. I recently purchased a copy of Vogler's Writer's Journey, a much shortened version of Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Vogler has taken Campbell's massively overwrought work, trimmed it substantially, and applied it directly to the craft of writing stories. In a forthcoming post, I'll outline his basic concepts (that is, the 12 steps of the hero's journey and the character archetypes and functions within the framework). With this as a basic structure, a simple plot line, and a chapter-by-chapter outline, perhaps I'll have a better chance of writing 2000 words per day that actually move the story forward.

Already, I am receiving encouragement merely by the fact that several others are going to undertake this ridiculous project with me. Dwayne, Eric, and Tim are all signed up, as well as a crop of others. Perhaps some groan sessions around some Fred Meyer Starbucks may provide a bit of the boost we'll all need to cross the finish line.

Lastly, in terms of dedication, I am planning to try getting up a bit early and writing first thing in the morning each day before Katelyn and Melissa wake up. This, combined with a few catch-up days, may get me into a regular enough rhythm to stay focused.

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