The funny thing is that the story does trundle along, occasionally giving me scenes that develop this mythical plot. In fact I've been really enjoying the whole story even though it now bears little resemblence to the one I started writing thirteen days ago.
Until this morning.
I knew I had to start moving the plot along at this point so I started writing without much of an idea where it was going. It wasn't really flowing, but I had a notion and pushed in that direction. But after a while I realised that I for the first time I was not comfortable with the direction the story was going. I don't know where it was taking me but I didn't want to go there. So even though I'd only written about 400 words I stopped. I was tempted to delete what I'd written and start over, but I didn't. Nano is all about the word count, and I could always delete it on the rewrite.
What the heck, if necessary I could take the day off and make it up later (I have faith in my ability to achieve wonders in a last minute panic). I was not going to write something I was not enjoying. So I went for a walk, did some shopping, visited the library, and generally tried not to think about my story.
By the time I got home I had found that the scene I'd written was not going in the direction I thought it was after all, and in fact led in an entirely different direction which didn't give me a bad feeling, so I wrote another 500 words. It wasn't a great 500 words but it moved the plot along a pace or two, and I didn't hate it.
Here's a little snippet from what I wrote yesterday:
“I think we should investigate.” Greta said. “See if we can find this secret passage.”
“Uh huh” Said Candy. “If I come, do I get a Scooby snack?” Funny how almost anything could be a double entendre when your head was in the right place. Greta flashed her a smile that said “Have I got a Scooby snack for you.” in letters of pink neon eight foot high.
It wasn’t until some time later when they had a few minutes alone that Greta explained her thinking.
“You see the thing about secret passages is that they are secret.”
“Also passages.” Said Candy with heavy sarcasm. Greta just smiled and waited for her to get it.
“What’s so… Oh. You mean secret as in nobody ever goes there, so two young ladies might get a little private time together, don’t you, my cunning little kitten?”
Current word count: 22,307
You are not a geek, but maybe this wil interest you: http://www.kith.org/journals/jed/2005/11/15/3245.html
I don't think it's a very good idea to write a novel without having a strong idea of the plot beforehand. That's not to say that you can't change the plot as ideas occur to you, or characters insist on changing it.
Pat - I thought exactly the same way a month ago. But 26 days and 45,000 words later actual experience has caused me to re-evaluate a few assumptions.
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