Monday, October 27, 2014

Getting Started

With nanowrimo just around the corner I have been thinking about a number of things. Like many participants I have focused on the aspects of research and outlining. I have figured out what type of story I wanted to write and created the file I always try to make in order to keep all of the randomness in my head gathered in one central location.

I made the list of all items I was somewhat unsure of and began going through reference books and scouring the internet through a variety of search engines and websites. I will still have a large amount of revisions to complete once I have written the original draft through the process of the nano challenge but I am feeling quite confident in my ability to get the story created.

Every story that I write has that ah ha moment when I am thinking about something either small in regard to the story or having entirely to do with other things in general. I will be talking to someone or reading an article or possibly even just watching a sitcom on television and all of a sudden things will snap into place that have been holding me up for a while.

For my current project I was driving back from a camping trip when all of a sudden the monotony of the road and the passing desert landscape made my mind wander. Before I realized it I was watching the movie in my head, narrated by the main character. She showed me her entire story and gave me glimpses of the next books in the series as well.

While I have thought about all of these things I have also found my mind lingering over the actual nano process itself as well. We start talking and sharing ideas a few weeks in advance. We switch profile pictures and become increasingly active in our online and local writers groups. We chat and speculate about all the different times we have attempted this in the past or ask questions because it is our first try.

The knots in our stomachs twist, the butterflies float unsteadily, our nerves fray in anticipation. The last week is agony as we long to et our fingers dance across our keyboards or fill the pages of our notebooks running our pens dry in the name of creation. We talk endlessly about our hunger to make it to midnight on November 1st but for me it always starts the same way.

I have everything planned out. I know what I am going to write. I have the chart of all the word counts I need to achieve each day and then when I turn on my computer and open that beautiful new word document I find that I am immediately intimidated by the empty page. The daunting first sentence that leads to the rest of the story.

It takes so much for me to overcome this initial task. I finally am able to each year. There are times though that just opening the novel and setting the scene can take a day or two on their own. It is the first of many times that the insecurities will try and poke their heads up and break my determination. Next up is the inner editor that must be banished to her corner and told to mind her own business.

I will give her the reading glasses and red pen in order to go crazy starting in december but she is required to hide away during November. It is all about letting things flow. Sometimes when we let go and lose ourselves in the story we discover things about our characters and the story itself that we never knew existed. Other times we are simply stumped and have to take a step away for a few hours.

I am excited for the upcoming challenge and I cannot wait to join my fellow wrimos as we conquer our fears and insecurities to create stories that may start out as ramblings but hold the potential to become incredible novels we can share with the world. I would love to hear how others deal with the trepidations of the beginning of the month and nano.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean, great to see you getting revved up about NaNo! I always find it interesting seeing how different people approach the challenge. It sounds like you're incredibly prepared, so you probably won't need this, but best of luck this November!