Passion.. crazy.. is it all the same?
Eleven days into NaNoWrimo 2011, and I started over yesterday night. I just couldn’t hack it with the haunted house story anymore. It wasn’t the story itself. I mean, it was sort of boring in the way that it was about two siblings who move into an old farmhouse with their family and it’s haunted. I suppose my heart just wasn’t in it to begin with, but as I wrote I realized I hated my characters, and it had always been more about the house than the people living in it to me, anyway.
So I started over, and not for nothing, this has taught me a lesson about myself that I will not be soon to forget:
I am a pantser, all the way.
It was outlining that killed my story, I know it was. It was plotting it out and having the entire story mapped out ahead of me – every turn and twist and surprise and conclusion, lined up like little proverbial ducks in a row. I thought to myself, my god, this is going to be so easy. All I have to do is fill in all the blanks and the details, and this story will be done. It will be a total breeze. But instead, it was a total bore. The only excitement I felt was passing my daily word goals. There was no excitement for the story itself, there was no passion. What it came down to was knowing that at the end of November I would have stuck this haunted house story into a folder on Google Docs and forgotten about it, but I don’t want to spend all of my time writing things just to know that I am going to be throwing them away.
I understand that I have to write a lot of crap. I understand, and I have heard it said before that you have to write 10,000 pages of crap before you might finally hit your stride.
I’m getting there. But I’m going to get there with a little heart involved.
Yesterday afternoon I pulled out the Eternals manuscript that’s been hiding in a folder under my bedside table for the last five months. I ignored the fluff in the beginning, the awkward start that still doesn’t make sense or work in the scheme of things, but that’s okay. I read the last three chapters to myself and although I couldn’t see the forest through the trees last spring, I suddenly saw exactly where the story needed to go and where my characters were going to take me – so I went with them.
Day two of NaNoWrimo 2011 Part DEUX! And I am at 7,936. So technically, I’m ahead of my new daily word goal by almost two days. I can do this. And when I DO do this? I’m not just going to have another novel, I’m going to be well on my way into a series that I swear to god will eventually, eventually, see the light of day.