NaNoWriMo Update #2

Slow week. Lots of thinking about the story, but not much typing on the story (as you can see from the wordmeter). It’s interesting what kinds of things pop up, though, when you haven’t done a whole lot of planning. Like Lucy hitting a highway patrolwoman because she hasn’t been paying attention. Or having to dress in scary 80s fashion for a reunion party. Or ending up doing the horizontal mambo on the Oriental rug in her long-lost love’s parlor–several times–and getting rug burns as a result (how college of her).

In fiction writing circles, the whole plotter vs. pantser (as in, “by the seat of your pants”) debate rages on. As a teacher, I have told my students for years that the process is highly individual and rarely wrong, although there are some smart things you can do to make your life easier, like having some kind of a plan before you dive in. Because my life is so disordered everywhere else, I’ve tried to impose at least some kind of logic to my writing before I begin, consulting all kinds of methods to see which one works. The Deb Dixon Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Robin Perini’s Story Magic. Christopher Vogler’s Writer’s Journey. All of them have been helpful, but none has done the trick completely.

It is comforting to have at least an idea of where you’re going before you begin (says the official navigator of Chez mimi). This time, though, I started with a vague direction and a lot of random, courtesy of Pam McCutcheon and Michael Waite’s The Writer’s Brainstorming Kit. I pulled a bunch of random cards, jotted down some ideas, and they are coalescing into a story. Sort of. There is that “Lucy hits a state trooper” randomness still popping up, but I think I have a basic TripTik to the story arc.

Chris Baty of NaNoWriMo fame assures us that Week 3 is much easier than Week 2. Let’s hope he’s right. I need to catch up. My number of words behind the pace has a comma in it. I need to get on the stick to make sure the number of digits in front of the comma stays at one or fewer. Okay, off to make some magic, or whoopee. On the page or off. Hey, energy is energy, right?

1 Comment

  1. Love the Brainstorming Kit. 🙂 Good luck.

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