As I get towards the end of my month of scribbling, here’s a lesson for me to remember next year (‘cos I will. And the next, and… I’ll tell you soon why I love this exercise so much, regardless of the naysayers).
As I see the finish line in sight – days and word count – I’ve been trying to force the story into a straight line. That is, I sort of know what I want to have happen, and I’ve been writing – trying to! – scenes that move me towards that. It has not been going so well. Last night, tired and just wanting to hit my words, I gave up on this and just wrote a random scene that was floating through my head. It was just a feeling, I wanted this kind of group meeting. It didn’t fit, in fact it was almost certainly from a whole other story (another reason to keep doing NaNo – it’s the quickest way to get the various ideas out of my head so they stop distracting me!). I got my word count, and thought “Oh well, I’ll do better with the story tomorrow.”
And then something strange happened. As I was finishing up the rest of my evening, the new bit of writing started rotating in my head. It doesn’t fit – ooh, it’s not what it seems. Suddenly: plot twist! And there I was, less than 10k from the end thinking I was done (and meh) with the plot, and it just got a whole lot more exciting! Making that scene fit in introduced a few other avenues, a whole other layer.
Moral, then: write what wants to be written, what’s in your head. It might work out better than what you thought you ‘should’ be writing!