Tag Archives: main characters

AWAKEDRAGON: NaNoWriMo 2017

Well then, NaNoWriMo starts in two days. I did my typical ‘I know what I’m doing!’ and then panicked waffling about a week ahead of time. I’m actually going to be working on the same project I worked on last year: only from a different perspective.

Thanks to lovely brainstorming partners, I’ve got a handle on some of the critical flaws I’ve been struggling with. Unfortunately, that means some deep rewrites, because some of the flaws were built into the structure of the story itself.

Now. I’m not completely throwing out the first draft. I’m going to turn this book dual POV, with two voices to carry the story. Since this story is a bit of a commentary on how ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries interact with each other, it really needs a perspective on both sides to balance the story and make it worth something.

Well, I’m definitely feeling like I haven’t outlined enough information, or discovered enough about this character’s voice to be writing 1667 words a day. Which leads to my last minute panicked waffling about what to work on.

But, the great thing about NaNoWriMo is you can use it to force you to write words even if you’re not prepared for them, to just GET IT OUT and ignore the inner editor. And I think that’s what I need to kick myself into writing this. Because there’s so much to worry and think about when it comes to this story that I’m getting paralyzed by it. NaNoWriMo has done great things in the past for me in just getting words down. Editing can come later.

Which is a funny thing for me to say, because editing scares the crap out of me and I feel like my rewrites are never intensive enough. BUT. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, because I need to buckle down and decide on something, and here I am.

I should have turned this into an experiment on making a storyboard to help me know what I’m doing, but alas, that hasn’t happened either. I keep seeing everybody’s pretty storyboards for their NaNo projects and they’re so cool!

There are two days left before it begins, but it’s very doubtful I’ll have time to build something. I have a rough outline of the plot, based off of my previous draft, but there are still some big yawning holes. Writing from another perspective made her the sole perspective and focus, and now he needs to be able to do the same. Theoretically it shouldn’t that difficult, because he has a huge part to play in the original draft. But he needs to be different enough and have enough of his own agency that I’m worried. There’s a lot of behind the scenes material I still need to create.

Needless to say November will be its usual blend of fun and stress. In the past it’s always worked best for me to work on a new project versus one I’ve been writing for a while, but I’m hoping the perspective/characterization will be new enough that it’ll work. November has always worked to jump start my creativity, and I definitely need a little bit of a boost. I’ve been editing and picking apart marketing schemes for so long I would really like to feel the spark again.

Either way, I’m wishing everyone who’s participating this year the best of luck and the most amazing time churning out your words!

Any comments? Anxieties? How ya feeling about the approacheth NaNo?


Secondary Characters Stealing the Show

I used to write my secondary characters as place holders. They served a purpose and maybe had a name and then move on. I think they’re exerting revenge, because they’ve started coming out the woodwork and stealing my plot.

I didn’t notice at first. I was naive. It started with the innocent-seeming, doe-eyed character in one my series’ that dutifully played the best friend role. She was important, yes, and events surrounding her were sure to move the plot forward. One book is almost practically driven forward because of her.

Now my innocent little blonde friend is force-feeding me new interesting twists about herself that oh so conveniently set the stage up for her own story. Her own book, possibly even series, and I’m not even done talking about her best friend yet – who is supposed to be the star, hello. She’s whispering in my head when I should be working on different things. And just when I think she’s nice about it, she yanks me off my feet in a direction that she would like to go, thank you very much.

yankedofffeet

(^Look! My first gif!)

So okay. Maybe she just really needs to tell her story.

But now it’s spreading.

Enter the second series, the first book of which I’m almost done with. This character was supposed to play a role, get a theme across, and provide a contrast to my main character and lay out some of that social commentary I have mentioned previously.

But oh no. Now she’s making herself really complicated and providing all this depth. The little vixen keeps hijacking what I’m trying to do with her character and pulling out these aching moments of vulnerable strength you can’t help but love. She’s not demanding her own book (yet) – thank god – but she’s seriously exacting her pound of flesh.

Arunninggoatsnd now she’s encouraging the other characters, too. Like a little circus master, her friends are starting to do and say things that I didn’t tell them to do.

It’s all going new and unforeseen places and I’m just stumbling along behind for the ride.

Okay, fine. Truth is, I can’t really complain. Writing for me takes on a life force of it’s own. I am not the master of my story; at some point I am just the tool of which these ideas enter this world. (Okay, well, obviously I control my craft, my art, my talent – but you understand, right? Right?) The story seizing it’s own destiny ends up creating something richer and better than what I had originally planned. It’s amazing to be along for the ride.

10thingssmile