post nano thoughts: (aka: where are my zombies?)

| On
Thursday, December 01, 2005

Well, I finished! By finish, I of course mean I reached my 50K word goal. Chris Baty really encourages people to try and tie things up within those 50K words, but so far I have been unable to do so all three years I've participated. I've made it to 50K, but not to The End.

I learned several things during this year's event. First, I can come up with 2K words in an hour if I make myself sit there and not go check ten million websites, not get up and change the CD, not get up and get something to drink, etc, etc. Basically, Jane Yolen's secret of writing is true (Butt In Chair). If only I had figured this out from the beginning! Second: coming up with a groovy (to me) scenario, characters I like and endless dialogue is not my problem. Plot is my problem. Chris Baty may say No Plot, No Problem! but after a while, it does become a bit of a sticking point. I thought I had a nano buster! An idea that was word-count proof. ( I should have known, then.) I wanted to do something cheesy fun and adventurish along the lines of Indiana Jones/ Romancing the Stone / Relic Hunter/ The Librarian. You know - fake archaeology, made up treasure, bad guys, bull whips/ irrational costume changes. (OK, I didn't think of the bull whips until right this second) I was attracted to this idea because it was different from my previous attempts, and it seemed like there would be plenty of opportunity to jump to something new ("run! zombies!") when things got sticky. Only problem - my zombies never showed up! Damn their shambling, decomposing hides! Did the arm with the watch fall off? It feels like all I have is endless preamble and no breakneck chases through the jungle. I know part of that is just me figuring out who these people are, but jeez! It is tedious. I think I will put it away for a while and take it out later and see what's what. I didn't look at last year's effort until October of this year. It wasn't nearly as horrible as I remembered it. Sure, it needs a lot of work, but at least there's something to work with - which brings me back to the whole point of nano! Just write it. Sure, it will almost certainly suck - that's kind of the point of the accelerated deadline - you have to write it fast, so there's not as much time to torture yourself. That's what December - October is for!
2 comments on "post nano thoughts: (aka: where are my zombies?)"
  1. I agree 100% with your comment about plot. Watching LOST last night it occurred to me that if I have an intriguing, but flexible plot, I can hang whatever I want on it. But without that structure, I am just slogging on, with no dicernable direction or purpose--er, lost, as it were.

  2. Hee hee! I agree that the LOST plot is flexible - to the point that I imagine they pull the next week's story out of a hat filled with tiny pieces of paper with bizarre nouns written on them. I still like it, but remember these are the people who brought us Alias and the Rambaldi devices! I have decided that I will watch it sort of like I did Twin Peaks - just enjoy every bizarre twist of the story, but don't bet the farm on most of it making any sense down the line. handwave

    But, back to your point - a flexible structure is a good thing.


Klik the button below to show emoticons and the its code
Hide Emoticon
Show Emoticon