A Full Day Ahead

Before I have written a word today, I have hit 10,007 words. That’s the expected minimum on day six and it felt good to get that done last night. The goal is to get today’s word count again so that I will only be one day behind when I get back from my little weekend getaway.

That said, I’m up stupidly, annoyingly early. Since 5:00am, more or less. We dropped off the cat last night in hope of getting a full nights sleep but it’s backfired, at least for me. So here I sit, groggily sipping peach and mango white tea while I clean off my desk and get ready for today’s session.

What’s been a pleasant surprise has been the book itself.

As I think I’ve mentioned else-post, every NaNoWriMo that I’ve participated in has been with, at the very least, a sensible outline. Specifically:

1st NaNo — I had characters and cultures and maps and magic and a beginning, middle and end. Sure, I deviated, but the bones of it were there.
2nd NaNo — I had characters and world building a beginning, middle and end. This one sort of plays out like a horror flick in my head. I should have been able to complete it, but I had a massive two-week trip in the middle of November and I couldn’t get past that.
3rd NaNo — I used NaNo to work on the WIP, again with characters and detailed world building and a beginning, middle and end.

This year? Not so much.

Before NaNo, I sat down with a notebook and listed all the ideas I could recall off the top of my head that I’d had that had novel-size potential. I was about seven or eight down, going from the most outlined to the least outlined, when a setting more than a plot scampered through my grey matter. It was a just a single image in my head, conjured up years ago when I was coming up with a Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM) RPG setting for a corner of the world I wasn’t going to use right away. Essentially — gothic church, dangerous wood, stained glass, running girl. There was slightly more to it than that for the RPG setting, spun from that image then, but that initial picture came back to me very strongly.

And then the image stood up and down, waving like a spaz. Didn’t really give me much choice.

A few things came quickly after that. I did some mind mapping and decided on three characters. My protagonist cast herself right away, like she’d been hiding behind a curtain waiting for the right time to come out. Same with her father. Her love interest/co-protagonist followed, though casting him visually took a bit of doing. I brainstormed on the words gothic and wolf and found myself with several conflicts that would blend well together. I also decided, early on, that unlike the first two novel-length works I’ve managed to finish (at least in draft form), this story would have the romance be a primary element. I dashed down about ten scenes that came to me, including the opening scene, which was a gift.

I have no idea how it ends, but that’s not bothering me. That has gotten me in trouble before with previous unfinished novels; I didn’t know where I was going, so I stopped writing. But I’ve gotten much better at asking why and how and who hurts, so I feel confident that I can figure it out with enough elbow grease. And little surprises keep popping up, like a severed hand. I love when that happens. (When writing fiction, of course!)

Since I’ve started, the rest of the main cast has revealed itself and I am dutifully taking notes. I’ve transferred all that initial brainstorming work into a notebook dedicated for the NaNo Novel, which I have lamely code-named Blood and Roses. (Please refer to “I am shit at titles.”) I’m also letting myself sprawl in each scene. On tap for today is a big confrontation that should set a lot of the primary conflicts in motion.

So, I suppose I can say I’m half-pantsing it. I certainly don’t have an outline, or an ending, but that’s okay. In fact, not knowing exactly just yet makes me more eager to get to the writing to see what happens. This is new for me. I’m kinda excited and I’m enjoying the buzz.

Anywho, back to it, eh?


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