So, here’s where I’m at. I wasn’t ready for NaNo to start when it did. I had been seriously eye-deep in revisions for Georgia (lovingly titled Look to the Sky), and I just wasn’t thinking about planning. I was still with Georgia and Joel, trying to capture their experience. When November came, like I always do, I started putting information in for my NaNo Novel. That’s when I realized that I had like two characters for my story and that was all. I wrote like 16k words with no real idea where things were going. Then I had a brain-splosion of ideas when talking with Ashley and I was like, “Yes, totally, I can do this. Duh. I’ve done it before.”
But guess what, none of those previous words were right. I had seriously wasted 16k words. That’s a lot of words and a lot of time. You see, normally, when I’m about to start a new novel, I buy a new journal (which I did), and I free write. A lot. It’s like nothing but what ifs and whys and whos and it’s crazy and messy, but it’s my way. Then, after I spend a lot of time doing that, (I’m a slow processor, I tell my learners that all the time), I start writing. But at this point I’m not even writing the story, I’m rough sketching an outline. I’ve done the whole write by the seat of your pants thing and I HATED IT! But, that’s what I’ve been doing with this novel. I haven’t had time to go through my regular routine.
So, I started a new document and I realized that those words still counted. I wrote them in November. I thought I had a better handle on the story at that point even though I had skipped several important steps in the process. I’ll be fine, I thought. Wrong. Now, I’m over 10k into this new document and again, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! I don’t know how one of my MC’s story begins. I don’t know where to put this horribly dramatic scene, I don’t have any idea why it is important that their dad is running for office. All of these great ideas have merged into one story, but the puzzle pieces just don’t want to fit together yet. I know it’s because I skipped those stupid beginning steps where I slow process my way into a story.
Before I wrote Look to the Sky, I had an almost entire journal filled with ideas and scenes and connecting points. Half of them didn’t get used, but they put me in the right mind space. For the most part, that novel was written in my head before I started writing. Some minor characters became major characters, there were connecting scenes that I needed to deal with, the ending took me forever to get right, but it all came together.
On the other hand, that brain-splosion might never have happened had I not been forced to seriously think about Lyndon and Kennedy all the time. Maybe I wouldn’t have come up with this one scene that will be excruciatingly painful to write? Maybe I wouldn’t even know about how these sisters operated and why said dramatic scene might tear them apart? The What-ifs are KILLING me.
So, now, I have just wasted time writing this blog post (can I count this towards my NaNo goal? lol) instead of writing words for Lyndon and Kennedy because I’m super frustrated with their story, with my lack of purpose, and the fact that I have no plan. What do I do?