As I mentioned the other day, this year I am jumping on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon. I’m a total newb and I haven’t the first clue what I’m doing, but being clueless is half the fun, isn’t it?
Actually I am taking a different approach to this project than I typically do. I’m a plotter, one of those folks who tend to plan my stories out to the nth detail. Outlining and creating character sketches/backgrounds are tasks that are an integral part of my writing process. I sometimes even go so far as to dig up pictures for my primary players and paste them around my writing space; this helps me better conjure images of my characters when they interact.
While this process is important to getting the outline of the story straight in my mind, another wrinkle of my unorthodox approach is that once I sit down to write, I become more like a pantser. Much of what I developed in my plotting stage gets tossed aside while writing the first draft. It’s almost as if I create a blueprint of my story, right down to the addresses of key locations and dates of birth of main and secondary characters, only to deviate from this gameplan at every opportunity in the first draft. I know what your thinking: schizo much? Yeah, I know, but it’s worked for me so far, so why change it, right?
Still, that’s exacly what I’m going to do–at least for NaNoWriMo. I’ve been curious about other writing approaches, recently. I really respect those folks who can sit down with nothing but a blank sheet of paper and just let things fly. In my mind, this kind of writing is walking on a tightrope, working without a net, letting go of all that is cautious and familiar and easy. Dangerous. Death defying.
So I’m taking the plunge. This year, I’ll jump in the deep end of the pool, wing it, and just write on the fly, just see what happens.
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done any tinkering with this story idea. In fact, it’s been kicking around my brain for well over a year now, so of course I’ve given it some thought. But I certainly ain’t gonna do the detailed plotting/planning that I usually do. I’m just going to put one word in front of the other, until the thing’s finished. What could be so simple, right?
I’m so curious to see how it turns out–and so anxious to get writing!–that I can hardly hold a coherent thought in my head (as this post no doubt attests :D). What about you? Got any big NaNoWriMo plans this year? Is this your first rodeo? Will your process be the same as previous projects? What are you doing differently?
P.S. My NaNoWriMo handle is jpcircusboy, so come look me up if you’re in the neighborhood!