It is now only a few weeks from November 1, the start of the “write a novel in a month” month at I am very excited. Doubly so because a friend and I decided we would tag team it – she and I will create the novel together, each writing on alternate days. We each have our respective lead characters, with their respective imaginary worlds trailing behind them like so much confetti, and we are now working our heads around how our characters will get along with each other.

There is probably an optimum amount of pre-planning, and with any luck we won’t miss the mark by too much. Going into the writing itself, the ideas need to be just the right amount of half-baked. Too raw, and we’ll end up with nothing but a sprawling mess. Too overcooked, and there won’t be any room for the thing to breathe, for our characters to reveal true selves and hidden destinies.

A certain amount of pre-planning is good, but let’s face it, characters truly come alive only once they are written. Your protagonist needs to meet the Buddha on the road, not in the motel room before even getting in the car. And in that spirit, we’re filling the old think tank with gas, firing up our creative spark plug, and mixing our metaphors like there’s no tomorrow.

Nanowrimo here we come!

3 thoughts on “Collaboration”

  1. Tag team – great idea! A close friend of mine has had some spectacular results writing plays as a duo with another friend of his.

    I just took a look through my own ‘short-list’ of potential Nanowrimo novels with my wife tonight. We managed to choose between us the one idea that we both felt was doable within the month. I’ll be doing the writing, but my wife will be providing moral support – so I guess we’ll be ‘tag teaming’ in a sense too. 🙂

    Last year was the first year I participated in Nanowrimo, and I have to agree with your assessment on pre-planning. I went in with no outline – not even a specific idea of what I intended to write. I hit the 50K minimum, but I have to say, some of the content was questionable; the ‘novel’ wasn’t particularly coherent, and I wasn’t very happy with it in the end – except for the achievement of having written +50K contiguous words.

    This year, I plan to have a light outline to start so I at least have a map to the end. I expect this might even make it more fun to write. I can spend more time on that character development, and hopefully avoid some of the plot pitfalls that I ran into last year.

    Good luck! I look forward to hearing how it turns out!

  2. Actually no. The nanowrimo rules are very explicit – you can’t “prewrite” before November 1. Structure and ideas are fine, but all of the actual prose needs to take place within those thirty days. The tea ceremony was separate – a rough sketch, approximately describing a circle.

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