Oct. 25th, 2009 11:13 am
meaghan_bullock: (Meaghan)
[personal profile] meaghan_bullock
So, NaNoWriMo is starting up again in 7 days. For those of you not familiar, NaNoWriMo is a demented event wherein participants endeavor to write 50,000 words between 12:00:01 am November 1st and 11:59:59 pm November 30th. I've done it several times before, and even succeeded a couple of times.

I'm doing it again this year, but I am a lot more stressed than the last two times I did it (and succeeded). On the one hand, I'm doing a story that I'm really excited about. I love my characters, and I'm completely in love with my world. Bits of the first scene have been spinning around in my head for some seven or eight months now. I have the first few events of the timeline, and I can already picture how interactions go between my three main characters.

Unfortunately, what I haven't got is an antagonist. Or a plot beyond those first few events.

Now, many people will say that NaNoWriMo is all about flying by the seat of your pants, and seeing where the story takes you. I tried that the first two years I did NaNoWriMo, and failed miserably. The two years in which I succeeded, I had a clear and definite outline. It changed and morphed a little along the way, but for the most part I knew where I was going and how to get there. It meant that whenever I got stuck on a particular bit of the story, or got bored, or decided I really didn't want to deal with whatever was going on, I could skip ahead to the interesting bits and come back to fill it in later.

(My manuscripts are often festooned with notes enclosed in triple asterisks or triple dollar signs or pound signs, anything that normally won't show up more than once in a row, telling me to come back and fill something in there. I'm also really fond of putting stuff like $Tavern_Name so that when I figure out what the heck something should be named, I can come back later and fix it all with one find-replace.)

So, I don't presently have a plot. And unfortunately, unlike the names of taverns or cities, I can't just throw in $Plot_Event tags all over the place. I'll never hit 50,000 words that way.

Mostly I am nattering and maundering. I'll figure something out. I usually do. It just makes me anxious when I don't have my story planned out in, say, September.
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Meaghan Bullock

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