It's hard to believe it's already that time again! I'm sure a lot of you are prepping - at least mentally - for NaNoWriMo this year. I'm not participating this time around, but I've tried two different approaches to getting ready to write a novel-in-a-month in the past. The first time, I got a concept the night before I started and winged the entire book. The second time, I did a little planning about two weeks ahead of time. How did each approach go?
Winging it landed me in some trouble. By the end of the month, I had plenty of words, but the last few days I was writing frantically just to finish the story! I kept writing and writing and couldn't figure out how to wrap things up. I did make it but just barely. However, I had such a blast the entire month that everything that went wrong with the story paled in comparison. If I had had time I would have started all over again the next month.
Planning certainly helped my story move along easier. I still had surprises but the plot was a lot more cohesive than my first attempt. So that was nice even though I had a lot more trouble making my word count last year. On the downside, I really didn't enjoy the process as much. I did have a lot of other things going on that month that kind of sapped my fun, but I do think part of it was that I was almost too prepared. I know that sounds odd, but I think the planning, while useful, diminished part of the fun - at least for me.
Now everybody's different and if I do NaNo again in the future, I'm not planning a lot beforehand. If you've done NaNoWriMo before, what is your favorite way to go about it? If you're trying it out for the first time, what's your approach?