You’ve discovered your greatest idea, worthy of molding into a novel; you’ve named the characters and created an outline; you think you know exactly how things will begin and end, and maybe you even know about all those twists and turns that make up the middle – the bulk of the story, all the really good stuff.
But let’s face it – who really knows exactly where their story will end up? I suppose there are a few, but the majority of writers would say that at some point, their characters took the wheel and made a left when the author had their turn right all planned out.
I began this novel with a lazy version of an outline, which really just consists of the names of the two main characters, their ages, and a measly list of background information. To be honest, it was more to prevent contradicting myself while this thing grows. After all, it’s pretty intimidating to be 100 pages in and about to mention a name, an age, or a date and have to make sure you get it right the second time around. It’s a lot to keep track of. If this thing ever goes to print, I’d hate to get bashed in a review because Angel’s mother died in 1965 in chapter one, but 1967 in chapter 23. Maybe the cream-of-the-crop writers will scoff at my concerns, and maybe it’s just me – but I have a horrible memory for tiny things like numbers, so I have to keep careful watch.
Anyway, as I was typing away last night my novel suddenly whispered in my ear, and told me to go somewhere I hadn’t planned on. Hearing about this whole “book writes itself” thing from a few writing professors in college, I decided to listen to that little voice and let the action swerve a little bit and possibly make an illegal turn.
The result: a little piece of creativity that I am very proud of. There is plenty of editing to be done, of course, but I was left with an interesting twist in the story line – just when I was getting scared that things might be getting boring – that I think others may enjoy, some day.
Once again, NaNoWriMo has been nothing but a huge help to me as a writer. My motivation to write is through the roof, and I’ve managed to push through even the worst of days, when I feel that my creative well has dried up. While my word count is a tiny bit behind (I’m trying not to beat myself up; some days in my life outside of writing have been busier than others), I’ve still managed to reach 103 pages of a novel. It’s rough, but it’s there. Woo hoo!!
How is NaNoWriMo going for everyone else who is participating?
As for those characters who have kicked you out of the driver’s seat: has anyone else experienced this? How did it affect your novel?