Or, more accurately, “The Pre-NaNo Rant”
I stand at an impasse.
I very rarely, if ever, throw out my old writings. It’s not just because it reminds me of how far I’ve come. I glean what good I can from them, stealing whole plots, characters, settings, names –– anything.
NaNoWriMo is right around the corner –– a mere week and a couple of hours away. Last year, I had a battle plan. Last year, I knew exactly what I was going to write, the characters, the beginning of the story, some of the middle, and most of the ending. I even had an outline. What have I got this year?
A vague notion of a plot, no decision on characters, a setting that’s only partially defined, and pirates. Yes, pirates. And though I haven’t even started yet, I find myself frustrated already. Why?
I’m considering stealing from an older writing, but I’m stressing over it. Do I keep the names of the characters intact? Do I keep the full plot, or just part of it? Do I… Ugh.
Where’s my problem? Here it is:
I have an already established world –– the great continent of Marda. While I don’t have all of it mapped out, I have a general idea of what it looks like and where everything is at. At the same time, there’s gaping holes in the geography, and the world of the other writing [which I plan to steal from] is not defined at all. No maps, nothing. But I want to connect it to a specific region of Marda without having to change things…. This is complicated, to say the least.
So what do I do about this? I take notes, look at maps, discuss things with my writing buddy –– who has read every bit of the Mardan tales that I’ve written so far (minus a few minor passages), think and think and think, and hope that my notes are all accurate…
Okay, so maybe it’s not all that bad… I still have a week and a couple of hours to prepare… right?
I guess what I’m saying is… Even if you only have a vague idea of what you’re going to write –– whether it be NaNoWriMo or not –– don’t let the vagueness get in your way. Push through. Write down your ideas. Get a few writing buddies (or just one.. or talk to yourself –– whatever floats your boat!) to help you
rip apart refine your ideas and change turn them into something that works (no idea is perfect). Then, when you are ready (which will probably be sooner than you think), throw all caution to the wind and let loose your words!