During NaNoWriMo 2015, there’ve been moments after writing a scene when I pump my fist and go, “Damn, girl, that was goooood.” (Yes, I say things like that to myself sometimes.) But for the most part I’ve felt a sort of resistance to working on this novel. I don’t know why, and I’ve decided to stop trying to figure it out because it doesn’t matter.
All the writing I do takes me where I need to be. Even if I’m working on a story that doesn’t feel like it’s going to the exciting places I thought it would, I am still writing. I’m improving my ability to craft words, to tap into my imagination, to make realizations about myself as a writer—weaknesses, strengths–and it’s all okay. I recently learned, for example, that a one-week slump won’t end me. I keep writing because I love it and because there is nothing else I’d rather do.
During the month of November 2015, I will write at least 50,000 words on this novel, making me a “winner” according to NaNoWriMo. Novels are like people; they surprise you. This book I thought was going to be a fabulous new friend is turning out to be a bit aloof. If this novel in progress decides to take off and become a project I’m passionate about working on and eventually completing, great. If not, fine.
In the meantime…
Today was a magical writing day.
“Idea bank” is a Google docs file in which I jot down random story ideas. Snippets–like lines from a character’s unusual point of view, a scene, a title, a concept–might sit dumbly in my idea bank for years or, as happened today, suddenly thrum to life and demand to be brainstormed and written about until they become big, fat novels.
It’s hard to say exactly what morphs an idea into a story. I think it has something to do with the combination of ideas. The idea that popped into my head this morning started pretty much with just a word, how the word “snap” can mean when a person snaps from sanity into insanity, and also how a hypnotist snaps his fingers as a signal to induce suggestions planted in a hypnotee’s (?) subconscious. Combine that with a title I jotted down a while back, plus a recent interest in writing an alternate reality story, and the witch’s brew was complete.
Now I’m super excited to work on this new story and see where it leads. It’s the kind of novel I’d love to read.