Friday, May 25, 2012
Preparing for Writer's Camp
There's one week left until Camp NaNoWriMo starts. One more week to prepare plots, get to know characters, and steel myself for the mad dash of a month that's staring me in the face.
This is my first Camp NaNoWriMo, my second novel-in-a-month challenge, and the only time I've had sufficient time to actually plan any of my novel. In fact, I've had nearly a month of planning time, and surprisingly I've put it to fairly good use.
Because here's the thing. I'm not a big planner. I like to follow where the story leads when I write, mainly I think because I get lazy and planning's not as fun as actually getting in and writing. But I want a story I can revise and pull into some sort of shape, not one that needs several complete rewrites, and, as this month's novel is the first of a trilogy, I need to get things working right before August. Because in August, I write the second book in the series. So, I pulled out a battered old notebook and got to scribbling.
Normal planning methods, or what I think must be normal planning methods, never seem to work with me. I start out with a basic concept, but I can't plot straight from beginning to end. And so I ignored the plot, and worked on the easy bit, characters. Working out characters gave me scenes. And scenes soon led me towards a plot. A plot that actually seems to fit together well, for me at least. It's very basic, with no more than a sentence or two telling me what the plots points are, but this leaves me with plenty of creative elbow room. And it's the most complete plot I've ever come up with.
But the battered old notebook is filling up with other plot ideas too, not just things for the fantasy trilogy. Someone once said that creativity breeds creativity. Well, in my case, planning one book has led to finding another four or five prospective plots to work on. I've got ideas buzzing around my brain, and my pencil's getting worn to a stub from noting down ideas.
Maybe I'll just have to write faster during Camp NaNoWriMo and get a start on another novel. Only then, which to choose? Oh the problems of being a writer!