Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I have done absolutely zero planning. The reason for that is because I am writing a 25,000-word outline for Camp, so essentially all of April will be for planning. And when I say “outline,” I don’t necessarily mean in-depth, step-by-step plotting of all the scenes in the order they appear. I’m talking about just general planning: getting to know characters, describing settings, figuring out the real premise of the story, and so on. I guess I should call it a “month-long brainstorming session” rather than an “outline.” I did a similar thing in April and November 2014, and it turned out to be pretty helpful.
The story I’m going to be working on is something I have been wanting to write for some time, and because it is intended to be a fairy tale/fable, I anticipate that it will be difficult to focus on the plot itself and not on the moral/ideology/theme behind the plot. Writing advice books will always tell you that story comes first, theme comes second. So I will spend this Camp session trying to come up with a fascinating story that will hold readers’ attention and try to hold off on all the moralizing. 🙂
My original intent with this story was to polish it up and post it online somewhere (like I used to do several years ago on FictionPress), and I wanted to make it “expandable” so that it could become an ongoing series rather than just a standalone. With the story’s subject matter, I’m not sure that it would go over well with its audience, but that’s why my challenge is to get the story and characters right first, then worry about all the “background” stuff later.
Good luck to you if you’re participating in Camp NaNo!