Friday, October 31, 2014

Biting the Bullet: NaNoWriMo Begins in 3… 2… 1...

People often ask me why there's a picture of a bird as the header for my blog about writing. Actually, no, they don't. I ask myself that, and then I tell myself it looks badass. But really, I'm too lazy to change it.

It's been a while since I have posted anything, and for that there is no excuse. However, as November 1st draws near, and I get more excited and nervous, all I want to do is blog about it.

For those of you who don't know, this is my sixth year of National Novel Writing Month. By the end of the month, hopefully it will be my sixth year of winning. Unlike the last two years, this year I had no clue what to write about. This scared me a little. Last year, I wrote City of Stone, a dystopian tale that I am pretty proud of. The year before that I rewrote my baby, The Night Stalker. This year, I feel that I have some high expectations which is intimidating. This NaNoWriMo will be my last NaNo in high school. Next year in college, everything will be different.

So far, I know my novel will follow a girl named Rowan. I had something planned out, but now that I look at it, I'm not sure if what I had is Rowan's story. Yes, a buddhist futuristic Robin Hood-type character sounds awesome, but since the day I first thought of that idea something always felt off.

There are two types of writers: the ones who have to plan every single detail out and the ones who don't. I fall into the later category. I have always believed that there is no write or wrong when it comes to writing. Writing is the one place where the rules of language can be twisted until they are unrecognizable, as long as it is done well. What works for one writer may not work well for another. This is no different.

Both types of writers have their pros and cons, just like everything else. Detail oriented authors have less writer's block because they know exactly what happens next and how to get there. However, this type of writing can be very restrictive.

I prefer to not plan out what I write. When I write, I feel like I am reporter watching the action and writing it down in vivid detail. I have an idea where the story will lead, but I'm not quite sure. Characters, scenes, and plot develop and often have surprising and amazing outcomes. I like to use the analogy of an archeologist. I'm digging up bits and pieces, uncovering them, and I sort of know what will be there, but there's always a surprise or two. I found that the more I plan out a story, the faster I get bored with a story. I don't want to write a story where I already know what's going to happen. That's why I can't read the same book twice.

But, like I said, just because I do it doesn't mean you have to. Every writer is different. Every mind works in a different way. It's taken me years to figure out how I write, and even now I'm still not sure. It's all about experimentation. Don't let "experts" tell you what to do. Find your own way.

There is no write way to write. You just have to write.

Happy Halloween and Happy NaNoWriMo!
Let me know how your novel is going in the comments…


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