It’s almost November Which means…..
NaNoWriMo! Heck to the yes!
Okay, so, last year it didn’t go so well for me. I was swamped with work for university and I just did not have enough mental ink to get those word blobs out. It happens.
But all you can do is try, and try again. So that’s what I’m going to do. Same novel. Same month. Different year. Fewer plays to write. You get the gist.
I don’t know about you, but for me it’s all about preparation – I work better when I’ve done some. I mean, don’t get me wrong, a clean slate can be incredibly nice when I’m writing something shorter, a poem, a haiku, a short story… But not when it’s 50.000 words. In 4 weeks. Nah mate, nah. I need to have some sort of preparation or at least think about it in advance..So..
THIS! Is step one (I imagined that in that really dramatic movie trailer voice… Did it work in text?? It didn’t did it… I should have known..)
Ahem. Step one. Getting started with it all.
THE IDEA! THE BRAINSTORMING! THE RANDOM THOUGHTS! WORDS IN ALL CAPS
This year, the idea bit is quite easy for me. I have an idea, I’ve had this idea for three years and now I “just” need to complete it 100%- The first finished draft of it anyway. But there have been other years (2012 you little shit) where I had no idea at all at the point when I decided I would do NaNoWriMo… And it was a tad terrifying. But I somehow managed. And this is what I did: I began wondering….” What kind of story do i even want to write?”I thought about characters that could be cool to write and stuff I had written before, but that I never finished. Somehow my train of thought led me to “This thing should be set in a convent!”… I let that simmer for a few days. It sounded completely boring, until my subconscious went “lol remember that stupid vampire story you wrote when you were like 11? You could write something else about vampires” (Note: My subconscious is a kind of an asshole cause I’m still really proud of that story.)
And then, the last piece…How are these two things even related? Would a vampire be inside or outside the convent? Inside seemed like the stranger way to go, so I chose that, which led to more questions, like: Why would this vampire be in a convent? Is she trapped? Is she happy? What is she doing there?? What??
Somehow, when I began to think of the motivation for this weird unknown vampire character being in a convent, it all fell into place. Somehow I knew how to start and what was going to drive the story – It would be why she was there and how she felt about it. I knew that the feeling would determine everything after the initial premise:
With some anger, it could be a bloodbath or a careful killing of everyone else in the convent – a strange murder mystery of why a random nun would kill her sisters. With paranoia it would be long hallways, long nights, whispers around the corner, an endless stream of “whats gonna happen? will they find out” or “whats gonna happen if they find me here??” I just had to choose one out of the endless possibilities, to start.
And so the initial Idea was there.
I wish I could say it was more planned than that. That it was a case of “This is how you do it, first do this, and then this, and then you have a story.” But it wasn’t. It was just more of a brainstorm, letting my brain just do it’s thing and come up with weird scenarios. I don’t know if the vampire in the convent idea was a particularly good idea, but it intrigued me and got me writing: That’s the thing about NaNoWrimo – It’s not so much about quality, as it is quantity. It’s there to get you to write. So… I somehow got started, when I found something that intrigued me, that I had to figure out. Otherwise that vampire character would just be stuck in a convent in my head for no reason and that would just be rude… Right?
TL;DR – Make sure your idea/plot/character/theme/conflict intrigues you or inspires you in some way to start writing. That’s the most important thing to get you going.
Was this post a mess? Hell yes it was. Will I make more NaNoWriMo themed posts? Yeah! Will they be better than this one? I sure hope so.
Until next time.
PS. For better articles/blog posts on how to get an idea for a novel, I’ve found some links for you.
And another one.
And juuuuust one more.
Ok now I’m done.
Wait, that was a link too! Gosh darn it.