Pantsing on NaNoWriMo Eve

Julie Russell
Friends of National Novel Writing Month
2 min readOct 31, 2021

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How are you planning, pantsting, or plantsting this November?

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash

Dearest Wrimos,

One might think, being on the board of the whimsical and fantastic nonprofit that is National Novel Writing Month, I would have crafted my November writing plan well before October 31.

I have a plethora of reasonable excuses and plausible explanations for why I always procrastinate my NaNo November planning. There’s just so much other stuff going on, isn’t there?

I wonder if my inner writer is a trickster who enjoys last minute pantsing for NaNo, after reliably re-writing my NaNo 2014 novel over the past four years with my writing group, one chapter at a time.

When autumn arrives in San Francisco, with its crisp sienna and crimson leaves collecting on the sidewalk, and tender shoots of green grass reach upward through the fall detritus, my inner writer yawns, stretches, and prepares to fill electronic pages with creative dialog and plot twists that leave me wrung out and awed on December first.

Once again, I’ll be fast drafting in November. I want to amass a great quantity of meandering ideas to create a strong finish of my novel-in-progress. I’m five or so chapters from completion, and will — if I can get out of my own way — let my creator write with wild abandon the next thirty days, and then…

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Julie Russell
Friends of National Novel Writing Month

Member of Alabama Street Writing Group | Previous Eng Manager at Medium | Past Board Member of NaNoWriMo nonprofit | Opinions are all & always mine.