Having not planned to join NaNo I had no plot, no title no character names, no nothing. So I grabbed a premise out of thin air and wrote. I managed 33K of a terrible horrible story. WHICH IS A MIRACLE. Because before that the most I had written in a year was 5K. Yes, I know. Aspiring author who is rubbish at writing, heard it all before. And then I realized something else. So here's a list of my weaknesses when trying to write a novel [obviously extremely paired down to keep from boring you all]:
A. I yearn to write a perfect novel. I have never re-written anything because I need things to be perfect the first time.
B. I have never plotted a novel. I am a pantser. And it's not going well.
C. Because I have no plots I never know what to write, so I chuck paragraphs and paragraphs of description in there.
D. I write short short stories, hence I can't keep a novel going more than 5K [if that].
MY CURRENT WIP[s]:
-are all very current. As in, started a couple of weeks ago current. Except for two, one being my NaNo novel which I haven't finished and probably never will even though I ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE ENDING WILL BE because nothing happens in it, zilch, na-da etc etc.
1. THE FOX CHILD [YA - fantasy re-telling]
33K. 75% bucket loads of unnecessary description. 25% other boring things. Barely any action. A lot of blood, for some reason. An MC that can talk[?] to animals. I don't even know my own 'plot'. Re-telling of Snow White [which is ridiculous because I never really enjoyed this story that much.] Will I ever make myself re-read this and maybe finish it? I don't know. I really don't.
2. THE WAY WE OBSERVE [YA - contemporary]
3K. People who have read it thinks it is about me. May be. Who knows. Started because I liked the title and the name of the MC, surprised? I thought not. I put it on hold because - I'm not actually sure. Exams probably. And then I had other *better* ideas. I have random scenes from this written on various notebooks so I will probably carry this on one day when inspiration strikes as I actually have a basic plot. THE SHOCK.
3. TO THE END AND BACK [YA - genre unknown]
6k. This is my current WIP, along with 4. and had been put on hold as I have been busy all summer, but yesterday I read it through and I LIKE IT. So far. Let's see how long it lasts. Why, you are probably wondering, do I not know the genre of this story? Because it started with a very vague plot. Vague as in literally not there and so many holes it's basically nothing. I felt in the mood to write one day, so I did, and came up with this, then I decided it could be the grounds for a novel [as I mentioned, I'm desperate to write a full length novel] so started plotting for the first time. I came up with a basic outline, didn't like it, had no other inspiration so left it to fester. So when I came back to it yesterday and LIKED IT, I decided I will write this and tried to come up with a decent plot. BUT I WANT TO WRITE A FANTASY, and I want this to be the fantasy, but all the plots I come up with ARE SCI-FI. Why. In my notebook I literally wrote: "YUK. NO. EW!! I want this to be fantasy OK BRAIN." I know, I'm slightly strange, what can you do. So yes, still trying to work out a plot that does not have a really unbelievable plot, [I have resigned myself to the fact that this will not be fantasy] so now I just need something solid, that isn't as holey as the side of George Weasley's head.
4. CELLOPHANE HEART [Middle Grade/YA crossover - contemporary]
4.5K. I started it a couple of days ago. Will feature road-trips, anger management problems, family loss, a ten year old smart-ass who can't slice cheese, graffiti, and is written in vignettes. [As inspired after reading Reasons She Goes to The Woods]. As you can see, I have a slight plot-if-you-can-even-call-it-a-plot, and I think that's what I'm going to have to accept: I am a pantser, anything more than slight plots aka five lines of main scenes and character names [I love coming up with character names] and I may drown. Or die. Well, my brain will.
5. THIS IS WHAT WE CALL IT [YA - contemporary]
Why do I have so many contemporary novel ideas? Oh I know, wish fulfillment [well not really], but I wish I had written The Sky is Everywhere, it is contemporary, see the logic? This one is a title love, has no plot, has character names [obviously] and will probably never ever be written because who writes a novel without a single scrap of plot because you like the title. Not me. Oh no, I have far better things to do. Like make sure I don't collapse with the strain of coming up with a plot for a plot-less novel idea. However, I may write a short - NO. it will be a novel. I need it to be. I'll write it when I'm old and wrinkled and retired from my job as a dustbin-woman. Ok. Maybe by that time I'll have an idea for a plot. Jandy Nelson, instead, can you just reprint The Sky is Everywhere under my name? It'd be so much easier.
UPDATE: Am getting excited about this one, have started plotting. So far? From what I have written this [maybe I HOPE] novel will feature a French best friend ironicly [you'll..probably never..see why] passionate about non-frenchness who talks in a British accent. A younger brother who is a genius pianist. A grandmother of sorts. A half chinese, half english main character who has a twin sister. Family drama. A main character trying to break through the bonds of her heritage, also ironical. [Again, you will probably never know why]. Sarcasm. Food fights. Jealousy and sibling rivalry. Baking mishaps. A home-schooled family. And..other stuff I still need to work out. Like WHERE DO THEY LIVE. Not Important Stuff like that...
WHAT AM I DOING TO MY BRAIN PEOPLE, it can't even cope with thinking up a plan for what to eat. Thinking about all this is making me hungry let alone create an entire novel in my head and write it down.
So when am I actually going to write all this? When my brain catches up with my need to write a novel and churns out plots and makes my fingers write.
"She is currently reading THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE again, and is flicking through DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS again to re-read favourite scenes [aka the entire book.] She is also wishing this will happen to her one day in the future: someone re-reading her book because they love it so much. Also, she is fuming over the fact that handwriting is so deceptive. Pages &pages of words, and not even 1K?! It's a conspiracy. And she's hungry, let's go & raid the kitchen."