NaNoWriMo: Day 11
Posted November 11, 2010on:
At almost the half-way point of the insanity that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I have hit a wall in my project – something that typically happens when I try to write without an outline.
What’s different this time is that I MUST push through, tunnel under, or climb over this wall in order to keep the project on track for the November 30th deadline. The beauty of a deadline, even a self-imposed one, is that it keeps you focused and sharp. When I struck walls in the past, I’d typically shelve the project, or scrap it and begin anew. Without this luxury, I am forced to listen to my characters, do things the way they want them done, not me. For the first time, I’m beginning to understand the logic behind ‘pantsing’.
I’m sixteen thousand words in and falling further behind because I don’t know what happens next. So, I powered down my laptop last night with my stomach knotted and my teeth clenched and went to bed, still not knowing. I tossed and turned, unable to shut my main character up. “Deana” wants something. Her ‘something’ does not match my ‘something.’ I kept telling her No and she kept saying, “How about now?” By four AM, I’d had enough and said, “Fine. We’ll try it your way.”
I got to work early (figured since I was up anyway…) and realized she’s right. Her way gives me a way over that wall.
If our readers are to be entertained by our stories, our characters must feel real. To feel real, who better to treat them as real than the author who created them? When I stopped trying to control Deana and force my will on her, and began treating her as a real entity, suddenly the pressure was off and a nice little experiment occurred.
Will it work?
I have no idea. And for the first time, I’m okay with this.