I Didn’t Plan That

It’s been a couple of days, Camp NaNo going on the whole time, so I thought it might be time for an update on how that’s going. Because I know you were all worried about me. (Yeah, right.)

The really short version is incredibly well. But you know I’m not going to stop there.

I had an insane first day. 8,173 words kind of insane. Did I mention that I didn’t start writing until like 5 pm? πŸ˜€

Day 2? Not quite at that level, but still pretty epic, given it was after a full day at work and far too humid. 5477 is good in the middle of all that, right? πŸ˜‰

And now I’m on a section that’s interesting. As in not planned. Not really at least. It was a sentence or two in the outline. They were just supposed to have a little argument after Reah tried to look around on her own. I swear, that’s all I was writing. And then it turned into its own chapter. With near death experiences and strange creatures I hadn’t expected. What the? I didn’t plan that, honest.

Yet it feels like it was supposed to be there. It’s definitely not filler, which I cordially loath and refuse to write for any reason. There’s a lot of character building and tension, inner conflict too, in this. And they still haven’t argued, though that’s part of tonight’s writing. It’s like Reah came up and said, “Here, this is how you write me. Don’t you dare screw it up.”

No, I’m not complaining. If anything, it reminds me why I say no outline should bind you to the point of ignoring inspiration. It’s a tool to help explore the story and give you direction. An outline is not and never should be a set of handcuffs. It’s not meant to be the exact and only way the story can unfold. Mine often have little deviations and no, this isn’t the first time a whole scene has inserted itself unplanned. Those are often some of the best ones too, for reasons I don’t quite understand yet.

I’ve still got a long way to go with this novel, even though I’m already at 13,650 words. I haven’t quite made it outside the first plot section of my outline (of 20-something), which suggests this will be as long as the first book in the trilogy, if not longer. Eep. Oh well. I can do this. One sprint at a time, I can do this.

Speaking of sprints, I’ll point out that I’m running sprints in the #writeclub feed nightly and it’s open to anyone who wants to join me. Even people editing are joining in. Feel free to drop in if you’re of a mind to. I go pretty late, especially since I’m on the west coast. It’s a lot of fun to write in a group like that. πŸ™‚

About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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5 Responses to I Didn’t Plan That

  1. Celtic Forest Dweller says:

    Wow, you’re doing awesome as usual. πŸ˜‰ Congrats on your 13k! I’m at 3k and mightily proud of myself. πŸ˜›
    I love when stories change themselves like that and I “discover” the real way it happens… πŸ˜€

    • Julie says:

      Nice work! Sounds like you’re trucking right along there. πŸ™‚ And yes, it’s been a nice detour. That said, it was nice to get back into the meat of the outline last night.

  2. Pete Denton says:

    Great start to your NaNo experience. Keep up the great work πŸ™‚

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