back to writing

Or rather, whining about writing.

I'm not getting nearly as far into sketching out my NaNoWriMo novel as I wanted to be by now. It hasn't helped that I've been either stressed or sick or both since Columbus Day. I haven't even had the time to write long overude responses to the wonderful Aimee, to whom I owe about a million emails.

So, just get myself thinking about my novel, I'm going to tempt fate and write about what I'm planning on writing. I always find it dangerous to get ahead of myself, but what the hell. I always do it anyway, so no need to keep up the pretense.

I had a few ideas before I zeroed in on the one I've been "preparing". Two sci-fi kinda stories and one not. I'm going with the one not, in large part because the idea was so small. The novel is meant to take place over one day, in fact. That's part of the gimmick I mentioned in an earlier post. Every chapter will be an hour and their will be 24 chapters. Basically, its the day in the life of a college dorm. I always remember this one day my freshmen year when everything got turned upside down. I was actually sick that day and slept through most of it and was just weirded out when I woke up in the middle of the night to find everything was screwed up. Long-time couples had broken up, friends were hooking up, couches were stolen. So, the idea of a day of hell has always interested me. Plus, I figured, I could use the large base of characters to flesh out the plot when the gimmick proved more of a liability than asset.

Not that I'll really be writing a novel with 50 equal characters. There will be three primary characters who begin the story and then end it. They are the core of it. Then, there will be 2 or 3 secondary plot lines to flesh things out. Most of it will be intentionally light but thoughtful, though I'm heavily tempted to do a heavy story out of nowhere in the last few chapters. It'll probably depend on where I am with my word count when I get to the wee hours of the morning.

My problem is that I've got very little planning on who the cast of characters will be. I mean, I know the central trio very well, and I have a loose idea of what will go on around them, but its all the side stuff that I'm lost on. Especially what I'm going to have everyone do and how they will get there. I want to eventually set up a hook-up between two of the leads, but I'm not sure how to get them there. The 24 hour idea makes that tough. I have to establish these relationships in the coarse of this day, after all. And it isn't helping that I have no conception of how long it will take to tell this story. Sometimes, I'm worried about making the word count. Other times, I'm worried about writing too much.

I'm inclined to just take it easy, though, and do the whole fly by the seat of my pants thing. Just dive right in and see what happens. I have such phenomenally low expectations, after all, that I can hardly end up disappointed if it doesn't go anywhere. But, we'll see. Maybe, in spite of myself, I can write something with a purpose and quality narative. I'm not betting on it, though, but stranget things have happened.

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