Was That The Starter’s Pistol?

It’s July 1st, which means it’s Canada Day where I am. We’re all celebrating the birth of our country up here. Lots of picnics, cottage visits and such things I’m sure, with fireworks to come this evening. Good times.

How am I celebrating? With words and story, of course. I suspect that there are zero surprised people in the audience on this one.

Camp NaNoWriMo is upon us for July! It has begun, and so have I.

I’ve started Vintage from scratch. The old docs went into a folder and I started new, blank ones for the chapters I’d written. I’m not even looking at the old stuff. And though I have a general idea of the shape of this story, I do not have an outline.

I heard that gasp. Finally shocked someone out there. 😉

The thing is, Vintage seems to resist being outlined. I tried once already and didn’t get anywhere. This doesn’t mean that I’ve officially become a pantser, but it does mean that I’ve learned an important lesson somewhere along the way in these past several months of not writing much. I need to listen to the story, to what it needs. Apparently this one needs to flow freely as I’m head down in the words.

We’ll see how far this gets me, but I figure I have nothing to lose by trying. They’re only words, right? I can make more if it doesn’t work out. I can scrap it and start over. And if it came to that, I would. This story needs to be told, needs to be freed from my head. I can feel it. No, that’s not just a headache.

I’ve got notes for my first chapter, but even those are fairly lose and I’m not sticking to them if the story veers off in another direction. Mostly, I’m letting my MC, Eben, lead me along where he needs to go. He’s sure he knows the way. Cocky bugger, isn’t he?

The first day has gone well so far. 3,316 words written so far. Not one of my monster days, but a good one nonetheless. I may write more tonight. I’m not sure yet. We’ll see if the need arises. If it doesn’t, that’s still a good day and I’m at a good place to stop if that’s all I do today.

Most important of all, I had fun writing today, just staying with the story, with where it is and what’s going on in that moment. Not thinking way out ahead, just a little ahead. Man, that was nice, guys. Very nice.

Let’s see if I can do it again tomorrow after I get home from the day job. You know, I think I can. 🙂

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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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4 Responses to Was That The Starter’s Pistol?

  1. quix689 says:

    Yay words! I generally don’t work well without some sort of outline. The two times I tried, I just sort of floundered around, writing a lot of pointless words so I could avoid getting to the part of the novel I wasn’t sure about yet. So I’m definitely impressed that you’re going into this with so little prep. It also gives me hope that people really can change, and if you can write a novel without an outline, maybe the second novel I’m thinking of for camp (which has no outline and only a few imagined scenes) might not be such a disaster. 😀

    • Julie says:

      What I’m finding, over the course of this NaNo and looking back, is that each novel seems to require a slightly different process. The key is listening to the story enough to figure out what it needs. That part is so hard though. Good luck with that second novel. I hope it’s going well.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    Good to hear that you’re having fun with the writing again. Sounds like this is a good time to have fun with NaNo, too!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. It’s definitely been a blast so far, and it’s nice to love a story while writing it again. I’ve had too little of that in the last several months. Makes me appreciate it now that I have it again though.

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