Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Pantsing Experiment

Well, here it is, a week into camp nano, and rather than feeling like I wasn't going to get through it (as I did last year) I'm actually doing really well.  A  lot of this probably has something to do with a certain wordmongering friend that has been challenging me to keep my word counts up.  But another part of this is the fact that everyone is actually doing camp nano, rather than last year when it fell a little flat.

Of course, because I was basing my success this year on how I did last year (I won the July round of camp nano, but only int he last weekend when I sprinted across the finish line by writing 25k words...) it's come to my attention that I simply don't have enough story left to finish out the month.

Sure, I suppose I could stretch it out.  Write less words each day so that I don't type out that very last sentence until the last day of camp nano, but where's the fun in that?  To know I can do it and purposely slow down just so that I'm not bored for the rest of the month?  That really isn't me, something I learned my very first nano when I hit the 50k mark halfway through and decided that I couldn't stop the journey just because I'd run out of material.

Naturally, when I realized that I was about to run into the same situation (I project that this book will be completely written no later than Friday, and that's only if I take more days off like I did today) I started to worry about what I was going to do for the rest of the month.

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I think of Nano as a journey.  It's not just about getting the words on the page.  It's a self challenge.  The only person who's going to end up disappointed in the end if you don't finish, is yourself.  Of course, where you consider 'finished' is another story entirely.  Going out to the write ins and meeting other authors who are struggling with the same issues as you is another part of this journey.  As is all the ups and downs your characters give you.

To this day I have never heard a person say 'My nano novel went exactly the way I planned' because no matter how much time you put into plotting something is always going to come up in the middle of a word war that throws you for a loop and has you furiously trying to figure out where that little twist is going to fit into the rest of the story.

Even if my word count is done early, stopping when it's over, to me, is a little like ordering the wrong meal at a restaurant.  It's food, and it's good.  It will satisfy the hunger that brought you to that restaurant, but at the end of the meal, there's always something missing.  That little extra something that you know you would have gotten if you'd just ordered that other meal you had been contemplating.

Nano runs for a month, and I think the experience should be a month long.

So this month, I've decided to do a little experiment.  I'm going to try pantsing a novel.  That's right, you heard me (or read me?).  The queen of planning is going to grab a story by the horns and give it a whirl.  I even have the idea picked out (one that I've looked at before and dismissed as not catching my attention suddenly jumped off the page today and shouted out an idea that makes it so much more interesting than it was before).

Wish me luck!  As soon as I finish Pandora a new novel will be written, and I don't know what's going to happen.  As a good friend told me, it's time to jump off the cliff with my eyes closed.  No seeing where I'm going, no aiming for the soft bushes.  It's time I landed in the wild roses and got skewered by thousands of tiny thorns.

No comments:

Post a Comment