Monday, November 22, 2010

Moving Forward

This weekend, I discovered one of the more interesting effects of NaNoWriMo.

One thing NaNo does is force you to move forward. You can't hit the delete button. You've got hit the word count. 50k in 30 days. Go. This means that things happen fast, maybe even things you hadn't thought about or anticipated. Sometimes, this will take you to places you didn't anticipate going, or it'll make you think of all the things you didn't think of.

Somewhere in my mind, I had thoughts about what was going to happen next in my book. MC and friends were going to NYC, and pretty darn soon if I had anything t say about it. Then it occurred to me, because of how I'd been moving my characters along, not giving them much time to cool their heels, I'd ended up with a lot of down time. If I wanted them in NYC when I original plan kicked in, they'd have to chill for the better part of a week. Who chills for almost a week when they've got Intra-Galactic Intrigue to get involved in?

Thinking about this, I started coming up with new plans. I cycled through a couple ideas (a lot of which involved postponing this issue until revisions -- I know, I'm a bum. I like to procrastinate fixing things). After some thought, it occurred to me that if I bump up their time frame, it makes them upset. It massively inconveniences them and means they have to revamp their plan ASAP. Tension! Barriers! Fun (for me at least)!

This is what's great about NaNo. It forces you to think on your face. You'll come up with new ideas, great ideas sometimes. When you write, there will always come a time when your original plan needs to be tweaked, no matter how perfect the plan is. In real life, a lot of people let this stop them. They freeze when they need to adjust. But NaNo gives you the boost to push past that 'Oh, my original plan isn't working, and now the world will end' freak-out so that you can get on with your story.

I'm enjoying this new direction. I think it'll really amp up the conflict in both my plots. NaNo for the win!

How's your NaNo going? Have your stories ever pushed you in a new direction because of how the story was turning out? How did that work out for you?


  1. I'm finding the same thing happening with my story. I'm amazed at where it's started heading.

  2. Melissa -- Good luck with the writing. Sounds like it's going well.