It’s the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I got to tell you…starting a story is tough.
Well, it’s tough when it’s midnight and you’re half asleep already, which is why (unlike many other hardcore writers) I decided to sleep in and start my writing at an hour when I was more alert.
But this time around I found myself at a loss for words when beginning my NaNoWriMo practice novel. The words of the first chapter just didn’t “feel” like coming out today. I found myself scratching my head as to why my computer screen remained blank. I did the planning. I knew who my characters were and the general plot of how the story should go. I also had a nice ending, one I couldn’t wait to write.
So why was starting the story so difficult?
A couple of reasons popped in my head as to why this happening. One, I’m writing in a genre that is still unfamiliar territory to me (I was going for one of those artsy-romance stories that would probably work better as an independent film instead of a book.) Two, my “planning” consisted of a few daydreams and a character questionnaire worksheet that only concentrated on one character (who, let’s face it, will probably end up changing anyways.) Three, it’s an extra story on top of another story I’m already writing. The story I’d been working on before this one has been taking top priority for quite some time, so any creativity I had before camp feels like it’s just been spent.
So much for starting camp on a high note.
But with that thought, I decided to try something new. I’m throwing out the planning. I’m throwing out the statistics and word count averages. This time, I’m just going to write. Write and see what my characters do on the whim, write and see where everything ends up in the end. I still plan on sticking to the original (planned) ending, but how my characters get there is completely unknown to me right now.
And that’s how I want it to be. I’ll be figuring it out as I write. In a way, it’s sort of an adventure, only this time I’m taking it with my characters instead of having them go alone.
I’m pretty excited about the prospect. Writing on the whim, seeing what happens when the story (in a way) tells itself. So far, the first chapter has already proven different from what I planned. My main character was originally supposed to be charismatic and outgoing in nature. Instead, he’s now shy and reserved. He was also originally supposed to meet his best friend by accident. Instead, they’re introduced by their teachers. The story is certainly different from how I planned it, but like any other adventure, writing on the whim and letting the inspiration surprise you as you’re writing is certainly like treading into the unknown. I don’t know where my characters are going. I also don’t know what’s up ahead. But like any other story, and adventure, I can’t wait to read (or in this case, write) what happens next!