A Fifth of NaNoWriMo Please!

Hello Day Five. I guess all my November posts are going to be about NaNo. It is kind of all consuming in my life right now. Day Four didn’t go so great. I got stuck in the self-doubt loop where, though happy with my Day Three writing, I started to doubt where I was going again. I’m finding it hard to pick scenes to write when I have no idea where I want my story to go. What is the end? Without knowing this, how can I lead my characters to it? Though I have read a bunch of “how to write” articles lately that kind of bash that thinking. You aren’t supposed to lead the story anywhere, you’re supposed to let the character do it. Huh. This seems ridiculously foreign to me. How do I let a thing I’m making up lead me around? How do I relinquish control to an imaginary character that I am building? That makes no sense to me.

Then I had another brainstorm epiphany when drying my hair in the garage this morning (don’t ask). The “What do I want to write” question was floating around in my head. It also helps that my husband and I are watching Once Upon A Time on Netflix (we just started Season 2) at night. This is providing a lot of inspiration. I am not writing about fairy tales for my NaNo novel but my story wants for magic, and there is plenty of that in the show. So this morning while flipping my hair around in my usual drying fashion it hit me. I want hovering space stations in my story. And I want my main character to be a descendant of some hugely magical family. And I want her parents to be dopey and “missing”. They’re constantly on space cruises or something and my character wants to find them to ask questions but never can (subplot anyone?!). I might make the magical family history one of evil too. Maybe my main character’s parents are the ones who ended the evil by just hiding their skills, which is why she knows nothing about it. Or maybe they’re practicing some sort of shunned black magic and she has to pick between them and her new magic career. I realized I want magic to be part of her career path. It isn’t just for personal use. She’s going to have to use it for some job related purpose.

But then I started to think about the girl I have on the page so far. I’m not sure she’d want any of this. I’m not sure what she wants. I know how she is feeling where she is – and with these new writing urges and plot points I’m going to have to scrap some of the crap I’ve written already (after NaNo – or rewrite it to fit the new ideas) – but I have no idea how she is going to feel about finding out any of this or getting to space travel or whatever. Maybe that is what people mean by letting your character guide you? Do I just sit down and start writing the fun things I want to write and just see what pops into my head as a reaction?

As a result of all this thinking I wrote nothing yesterday, so I have writing to make up tonight. Though I don’t think that will be an issue tonight. I’m really determined to write out the scenes and explain the new magic world ideas I came up with this morning. Even if the result with be disjointed masses of inconsistant goo. At least it will be words, and another night of writing practice I didn’t have before. Though it is tempting to just play Pokemon X and zone out to television.

I am finding it difficult to squeeze in reading time too. Usually I read at work during breaks or times of boredom, but now I’ve been wasting my time on NaNo forums and writing down brainstorming ideas for my book. Side note, it feels weird to say I’m writing a book. Who am I to write a book, let alone a novel? It sounds like a little kid who wants a unicorn and to grow up to be a fairy godmother kind of thing to me. “Gee, teehee, I’m writing a book!” I still struggle with finding a point to all the writing if the world wil never like it too. What if I write these 50,000 words and then it just sits there, and never gets published, or read, by anyone. What if I never write another thing? Will it be satisfying enough to say “Well, I tried! No more dreams of being a writer, off to find a new dream!” They make drugs for my kind of crazy don’t they?


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