In less than an hour, the month changes over to November, and National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, officially begins. During the month of November, thousands of writers will attempt to vomit out 50,000 words or more to “win” Nano. For some people, the past few weeks/days/hours have been spent feverishly outlining and planning. For others (ahem, me), preparation takes other forms, for example, hours of Mahjong, while plots emerge in thoughts and daydreams. This is only the second time I am attempting Nano. The first time was four years ago, when I wrote over 50K in my first novel. It took me 3 years to complete it after that, but Nano got me going, and I’ve definitely developed better writing habits in the past year. Except one.
I am a pantser.
That’s right. I admit it. I don’t outline. I don’t plot. At least not in an organized way. The thing is, I know where my story is going. I always have the ending in mind before I begin. I just have no idea how I’m getting there. And it’s kind of crazy how it works out. I admit, it probably leads to more revising than if I plotted everything, but I can’t be sure. I have a feeling that if I tried to plot, the characters would just laugh at me and skip off in their own direction. They know where the story is going more than I do, or at least the path they are going to take.
I like being surprised by my writing. I like that I don’t even always know what’s going to happen until it flows from my fingers and onto the keyboard. Though I know the ultimate outcome, my characters delight and frustrate me with their choices along the way. They hide things from me, and share secrets to which I am not privy.
And now I sound like I have a God complex. I suppose in some ways most writers do. I mean, WE CREATE WORLDS. Pretty amazing, if you think about it.
So in 40 minutes, it’s go-time. We’ll see what new lives I can create and destroy and fix in the next 30 days. No matter what, it’ll be a wild ride 🙂
If you’re part of Nano and want to be my writing buddy, or just want to stalk my progress, here is my profile.
You can also follow me on Twitter: @originallyrena
Or find me on Facebook: Rena Olsen – Writer
Wish me luck!
I love it that everything you say I can relate to so well! Discovery writers unite!!!!!!!!
That was super awkward wording! Sorry about that! Halloween candy and whatnot!:-)
Hooray for pantsers! Kinda makes me think of actually “pantsing” someone, but it’s so fun to say! Too bad spell check doesn’t believe it’s a word…
Haha, it makes me think of that too…which brings back memories…(not of me thank goodness, but I’ve seen things–horrible things–I wish I hadn’t). I personally like “discovery writer”! It makes us sound like awesome adventurers!
Let’s go find a pirate ship!
I’m a plantser! Good luck Rena–I’ll be cheering you on and being INSPIRED by ALL YOUR WORDS as I’m doing #WIPmo and am ALREADY stressing that I can’t do less than 30K. Eek.
Is a plantser different than a pantser? 🙂
I just read your blog on #WIPmo and I want to do that too! DO ALL THE THINGS! I had to take a break on my current WIP for Nano. So when I finish my Nano, I’ll come sign up for #WIPmo. (Haha I’m so glad you couldn’t see my face when I typed that. Pretend it was totally serious, k?)
Ha–not really! I plotted out my WIP but now I wished I hadn’t. My first novel was totally pantsed and I think it was easier BUT I sure THOUGHT I was on to something when I did all that plotting. But I do like the idea of mixing them both up. Yes, what an AWESOME idea–as soon as you finish your Nano novel and maybe even a short story or two, come on over and WIPMo!