I was swallowed up by the hole that is NaNoWriMo.
This year my goal was to see just how fast I can get to 50,000. I managed it in three days with reaching a personal best on the first day of just over 20,000. My highest in previous years had been 17,000 or so, which had me elated and I didn’t even have sore wrists until I finished and went to bed with my wrists in supports.
I learned that I’m an immersive creature. I took the week off my retail job to literally run away to Bendigo, where my gorgeous second family lives, and hole myself up in their home and just write. I was writing with no clear ending. I was just writing to discover what was in store. I had a skeleton of an idea. One that involved a major plot point at the end of my first novel and despite originally this one being the second book, I had the brother of my main character jump the line last year because it was one of my hardest years and I had to write a scene that was so hard to me because I’d just been through the biggest losses of my life, but I know now that I needed to. I needed to do that hard book to get it out of the way so I could do this one.
I don’t like structure and I keep trying to find a way to make it happen, I know it’s not. For me structure always comes after the writing. I get the plot from the writing which I think it why I can pump out so many words in such a short time. I let the story write itself and I just facilitate the words on the page. I don’t really care that most times I have to do a complete rewrite, the story grows organically and isn’t forced on my end, which is what I love about writing.
The real strength is that I now have a fully functioning story that will allow me to get to the end without having to plot. Yes, it’s probably needed and probably the reason why I stalled so much but sometimes the stalling is a way of letting the story percolate so that you can get past what needs to be said. A great story is one that can write itself and we, as writers, are supposed to be the ones to guide it onto the screen and into the hands of readers.
If a story is hard to write, that doesn’t mean anything, it just means you’re resisting what really wants to come out and by plotting it all out it’s hard to let it come out. But if it’s boring to write then it’s probably going to be boring to read.
I am by no means saying that plotting is bad. It’s not, there are many great authors out there who plot and can pump out amazing stories, I’m giving you an insight into what I found works for me and what keeps working for me.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Or maybe you’re doing some writing on the side? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to know what you’re up to, the brains of other writer’s always amazes me.