16 November 2010

NaNo Blabberings

I've passed the halfway point and I'm still a bit clueless as to how this story is going to pan out. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write and NaNo helps to solidify this as my "go to" way of writing. Of course, this makes for all manner of plot tangles, rabbit trails and random characters popping up and the most inopportune times.

Ever had a character arrive unannounced and uninvited? It happens to me every time I start a story.

For example, this story was cruising along. My main character was looking out her second story window over the eerie Irish landscape when a voice spoke up behind her. We were both shocked. She was in the house alone. Her uncle was outside in his wood shop, working on a shelf unit for the village pub. My main character and I looked at one another and then looked behind. There was a young girl standing there, smiling, blinking at us as if we were the ones in the wrong place. I looked at my main character and sighed.

"Not again."

My MC looks to me for advice.

"Go with it," I tell her. "See what she has to say."

And lo and behold, this little girl is going to be the turning point of this story.

Oh, and did I mention this "story" has turned into something longer? Yes, dear friends, it seems I may have TWO books on my hands instead of just one. Surprised?
Don't be. If I were to sit down and write and honest to goodness one shot, I might faint.

Or dance around and cheer, scaring the cat and the neighbors. The neighbors I wouldn't mind, especially the one whose second hand smoke makes my lungs feel like they're going to collapse.

But I digress.

Tell me: do your characters randomly appear, seeking employment, auditioning for roles you didn't even know were there to audition for? Or are you one of the lucky ones who outlines and casts and has characters who only arrive when asked?

Just curious.

Ah, the ramblings of a mind that won't sleep. Did I mention I'm writing this at 2:30 am?


Jennifer said...

It is the same problem I have with every story I have ever tried to start. That and a usual lack of interest has made me usually drop most of my stories... Because they end up nowhere...

But I usually just write off the cuff (which is part of the problem), and I have characters pop up ALL THE TIME. So crazy.

I'm envious of your concentration and determination, dude.

Good luck with the future writing! :D

Brian Miller said...

haha. so its coming along well...let them talk...let them show up...

Meredith said...

I love the random characters who appear out of nowhere! They're always integral to the story for some reason. Good luck! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Good luck with your story! New characters can be fun. :)

I usually end up writing more than one book, too--or at least it looks like that's what I'll end up doing!

Margo Kelly said...

I have random characters, events, settings, plot twists... I often say to my characters (yes, I talk to them, and I know I'm not alone): what the crap was that? where'd that come from?

But... I go along for the ride and love it. LOVE IT.

Melissa said...

Characters have minds of their own... They aren't very reliable, that's all I can say.

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Oh, my goodness, that is my favorite part of writing fiction--the surprises!! That's when I know the story has taken on a life of its own, and things are on the right track. It's quite a thrill, really. And you have a Smoking Neighbor, too?? Mine sits on his porch which is waaaayyy too close to mine, and the smoke wafts in trough my open windows on otherwise nice evenings. Nasty.

roxy said...

My characters always do things I don't expect. It's amazing what comes out of my head.

Mary Aalgaard said...

That is so cute how you described the little girl and the MC looking at you, the author, and saying,"Now what?" Yep, characters have a mind of their own. Which is weird because they're in our minds and we're not consciously plotting them out. Keep clicking away at NaNo!

Regina said...

Yes, but sometimes those unexpected guest bring something special and unique with them. I am a panster as well and I love the added company sometimes.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

My characters are no different from yours- and I am not sure I would want it any other way.