One week and counting folks. Are you waking up in a cold sweat? Perhaps the nerves have risen. Butterflies in the stomach have turned into a swarm of angry bees? NaNoWriMo is a week away and, Holy Shit, You.Have.No.Plot.
What are you going to do? Will you have to skip the month of tortu– uhh intense writing pleasure? Of course not!! (We’re not letting you out that easily. Sorry.)
All you need is the glimmer of an idea and to give yourself permission to be a pantser (even if that’s not your normal M.O.). Now some of you may be scratching your heads about now. Why is she asking us to go around pulling down the pants of unsuspecting folks? That’s not what I mean by being a pantser. There are two kinds of writers. First you have the plotter. Those super organized folks who have incredibly detailed outlines on what happens in each chapter. They will get no surprises from their characters as they write, because they don’t leave anything to chance. I think it’s an awesome way to write, to know exactly what’s going to happen, but I just can’t work that way. I am most definitely a pantser. Someone who writes by the seat of their pants. I normally start with a vague idea and (hopefully) an idea of an ending (I just thought of mine in the shower this morning. A good reminder that I need to go and buy some Aqua Notes). Everything else is kind of left to chance. My characters will really run the show, pointing me in directions I may not have even thought of. I know, it sounds kind of crazy and perhaps a bit daunting, but I think it’s so much more fun to be surprised. Don’t you?
So don’t worry if you have no detailed plot idea. That little niggling idea in the very back vaults of your mind? Let it out. Don’t worry if it’s vague, under developed or even seems perhaps a little…stupid. Let it out. Don’t hold back and let it run wild. You might just be surprised that it grows into something absolutely amazing and even if it’s not amazing, I bet you’ll be able to look back on it and learn from it and probably laugh at some of the ridiculous things your characters do or say. Enjoy it. Let it live. Have.Fun.