Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo-Week 1:Characters Takeover Story

This is my second year participating in the worldwide writing event known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This event dares participants to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This year I vowed I would be prepared. I would have an outline, storyline, and characters flushed out. I diligently read all the advice leading up to November 1 on the NaNoWriMo.org website.

When the clock struck 12:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on November 1, my computer was opened on a "new blank page."  I took a minute to visualize the story: the beginning, middle, and the end. I began typing.

Three sentences into the story and three new characters showed up. Yes, you heard me. They appeared on the page. By the time I had keyed more than 250 words two more new characters showed up. Once again, my original idea was hijacked my story.

This is a relatively new phenomenon for a veteran non-fiction writer like me.  I like organization when I write. I like to know where  my writing is going, who is the expert, and why am I writing about it.

Each November an alter ego of myself appears when I take on the NaNoWriMo Challenge. I've become a "pantser" ( a term used by writers who claim to write by the seat of their pants).  I begin the story and before I know it what I thought I was going to write becomes something else, something much better.

This feeling of characters appearing out of nowhere is the combination of spending time really thinking about what you are going to write and the act of writing without stopping to correct spelling, typos, punctuation, etc. Writing until you can't write any longer is the genius of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Writing for the sheer bliss of getting your ideas down on paper.

Once your ideas know they can trumble out on paper unincumbered, they flow. So, for all who write, this is a challenge that unleashes the creative muses within you. It's not too late to dive in. Join me and the more than 250,000 people worldwide "writing with wild abandonment."


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