This year, 2013, I am going to try my hand at a novel. I've done W1S1 for the last two (?) years. When did it start? I have also done NaNoWriMo a couple of times. I haven't had any luck selling a short, although I have gotten a few encouraging rejections and made it past the first round once or twice. I think I'll try my hand at a longer piece. It is going to be a space opera story, set in deep space with humans encountering aliens and of course fighting. It won't be based on a misunderstanding, I hate those premises. I will be based on survival and the need for resources.
Now my question is – how do I do this? The attempts I made for NaNo are not real good practice for a novel. Those were: cobble together an outline, start writing, drift from the outline, and finally bang out a bunch of words to hit the goal. That is a useful exercise to learn how to ignore your inner editor but it results in a lot of words that don't all fit together and need a lot more rewrite (or a restart) than I'm capable of.
So I want to make a schedule for myself and stick to it. I'm thinking of taking a couple of months to put together an outline, character sketches and build the world. Then I start writing. For the first draft I'm thinking of five months. Then a month off and two to three for rewriting. I should be ready to send out queries by November or December.
That's my plan. I haven't done this before so feel free to comment. Has anyone tried something like this? Now what I really need is a W1S1 type of lick in the pants for this schedule. I do know that there is a novel version of W1S1 but it seems too free form for me. I should head over to their novel forum and see if I can scare up a few others who would want to try to stick to a firmer schedule.