It’s only three days until National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo – kicks off, and as usual I’m woefully unprepared. As in, not at all. Each year I think (hope?) that I’ll have some time to plan my story before November 1 rolls around, but as usual I haven’t had a spare second. But I did tick off three annoying things that have been hanging over my head for a while, including two years worth of tax, so at least I can leap in free of those stresses
And really, who am I kidding? After doing it three times – resulting in Into the Mists the first year, Into the Dark the next and Into the Light last year – I probably wouldn’t even know where to start with planning a book. Of course it terrifies me, having no idea what will happen, no path to follow, no back-up plan to fall back on, but in a way it’s liberating too. Who knows what magic will be woven, what inspiration I will follow, what challenges will arise? The only way to discover a story, for me, is to write it. To sit down and just do it – write madly, and freely, and fearlessly. Without second guessing or reading back over it or limiting where it can go or what it should be.
So, I have no idea at all what will be created, but I’m looking forward to the adventure… Do you want to join me?
And are you a plotter or a pantser? Some people plan meticulously before they start writing, plotting the storyline and fleshing out chapter outlines and character bios, which I very much admire. I had planned to do a lot of planning – but it hasn’t worked out that way. The first year I’d thought I would have all of October to spend on plotting and planning, but I didn’t end up finishing the launch and promotion and website for my previous book until October 31, so the next day I just started writing furiously and discovering what the plot was as it poured out onto the page.
The same thing happened the following two years, and looks set to reoccur this year, so I guess I’m a make-it-up-as-I-go-along type – a pantser as it’s known in the NaNoWriMo universe, for flying by the seat of my pants. I find the process of different writers fascinating – some plan meticulously, and I really admire that, while others don’t plan at all, which can be stressful (believe me!). After three years of NaNo, I realise that I’m firmly in the latter category, which makes sense I guess, since I’m a bit impatient, but I’ve also discovered that I really love seeing where the writing takes me, watching it unfold as I go and not knowing what will happen in the end. There’s a certain alchemy to the journey that I love, so although I always say I’ll plan next time, maybe I never will…