Sheesh! I had no idea you plotters are so meticulous.
I got the point in the workbook that talks about making your characters and planning out your story ideas. WOW! How do you even know? How do you make them up? Just freewrite? As a pantser they just come to me. No joke. I’ll start November first with something like “Vanessa sighed.” and go from there. Already I have a character named Vanessa. I can see her. She has dark hair down past her shoulders some of it is pulled back from her face while the rest hangs loose down her back. She’s leaning on her hand on a table. Do you know what comes next? I don’t. I just watch Vanessa and see what she does. Oh, she’s reaching for her cup of coffee. No, sorry, I see it’s a latte with a fancy leaf pattern from the pour. She doesn’t care though. She’s sad. I’m compelled to keep writing to find out why.
I understand that I’m a square peg trying to fit in a round hole doing this plotting thing. (Or maybe a round peg trying to fit in square hole. Ah, who am I kidding. I’m a dodecogon trying to fit into an icosagon shaped hole. None of us are common enough to be square or round.) I feel like a sedentary person (mostly am) going to an advance yoga class and being set to some impossible pretzel twisting knot of a pose. Whew.
It’s annoying. But I know if I’m annoyed I’m challenged. And if I’m challenged I’m doing something good for me. (Yes, I have learned to like Brussels sprouts but I still hate cooked carrots.) My brain is growing and stretching. I might not make it into that twisting pretzel knot pose but I’ve gotten closer than I ever would have without trying and while I’ll be sore tomorrow, my body will be stronger and more flexible for it. And thus, my mind will be stronger and more flexible for plotting.
Try doing the opposite of what you normally do at least once (I don’t recommend this for a word war, though). See what you get. You might not get a whole novel but you might get something that plays a roll in your next project.
I’m going to keep going with the workbook but November first is likely to see me pantsing. I am what I am.
Make sure that you have RSVPed for the KO/Midnight WI. We hope to see you there. Those first few words at midnight are pretty cool. After that we’re off like a shot. check the calendar frequently for write-ins and changes.
A few years ago I found copies of Ready, Set, Novel by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, And Tavia Stewart-Streit
(the illustrious heroes of the sacred halls of NaNoWriMo.org). This book has sat in a drawer because, well, I’m a happy pantser. This is how I work. I’ve mentioned this before (feel free to check out a previous post The Eternal Question). It is an absolute joy to write this way. The shocked gasp when my plots go all wibbly wobbly certainly amuses anyone around me. Thus this workbook has sat.
Recently NaNo put on a NaNoPrep webinar with four writers. Jonathan Maberry (YA horror and freelance comic book work among other things) mentioned that he uses Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass as a starting point for every one of his novels.
I wandered to to Barnes and Noble this morning to take a look at Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook and found it was $20. Not too bad as an investment if you’re going to plot but it wasn’t in my budget this morning. And then I remembered the tome entombed in my drawer, long forgotten. I hurried home and dug out the Ready, Set, Novel workbook. What better way to start plotting for NaNo than with an officially official NaNo workbook.
The first activity is to get you used to marking up the book. There is a huge square and you have to fill it. Anything goes. Brilliant. A way to get you into the “write in this book” mindset and get random garbage out of your head, or put some inspiring quote on the page surrounded by some fancy doodling.
I’m really going to put out the effort to do this year’s NaNo this way. And I do mean a lot of effort. This is so out of my skill set. I just found the “What-if” Activity. Sheesh. My brain doesn’t work that way. I’m analytical. I have a hard time what-iffing things I don’t want to happen and things that are simply improbable if not impossible. Yikes! At least that’s followed by some internet sites that will spark some ideas.
I’ll keep you posted and let you know if I freak out and abandon the Plotter Path to return to my Pantser
Predilection. Plus, I’ll let you know how the book is as a whole.
Also, a reminder if you’re in the Spokane region to RSVP in the Kick-off/Midnight Write-In thread if you haven’t already.
It’s two, two, two events in one!
Come to the Kick-Off Party, October 31st at 10:00 pm, and stay for the Midnight Write on November 1st until 1:00 am. (See our NaNo regional page for details.)
Be sure to visit and get your KO only goodies! Then stay and get your first words done!
Please RSVP on the regional page and let us know you’ll be there. We’d hate to run out of awesome KO goodies.
See you there (costumes welcome)!
NaNo is coming! NaNo is coming!
The forum reset is October 5th
(yes, this Monday!)
so hurry after and update your profile with this year’s novel information!
You don’t want to be left out – NaNoLag is a terrible thing!