Nanowrimo 2016

Yes, dear reader, I’m in the race of the mad folks again.


This time is different. This time I write a story in Dutch. I’m Dutch so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Let me tell you… it’s difficult. And I don’t know why it is difficult. I prepared for this like for no other Nano effort before. I devised characters, places, made an outline, made a new one, created backgrounds, wrote a plot line, I did everything I usually don’t do. I should be prepared. And I’m not. Halfway chapter 2 I noticed things going wrong. Characters not doing what I had planned, locations not being where I intended them and worst of all: the entire story started shifting.

radar4Currently I’m working on chapter 4.

From the centre of chapter 3 I could still see a vague outline of where once the plot line had been. In chapter 4 that’s completely off the radar. From here to the end of the story I’m on my own. Characters are everywhere. Their numbers are wrong, their shapes are distorted and dry land is ‘somewhere’.

All my good intentions have been blown into the water where I am now adrift, holding on to my keyboard, the most trustworthy flotation device a writer can ask for. That and my razor sharp mind which has gotten me out of trouble before. (Stop laughing!)

Not all is lost however. Here and there I see crates with bits of back-story, names, places and intentions bob in the water along with me. With cunning agility of mind I’ll bring them in and slap them into this story. This exercise may have taught me one thing. Or two things. Plotting really isn’t for me. Getting the cornerstones in place however, coming up with stuff that can happen in the story, looking up the problems my victim characters will face (and possible solutions to get them out if they need a hand) is definitely something worth keeping up. I’m throwing the plot line out of the window. Listen how it whistles down all four floors and lands with a sickening thud. (‘Oops, sorry down there!’)

Maybe that will be my salvation for Nanowrimo this year around. In Dutch. It’s fascinating.


The plotting pantser, or how a non-planner writes down plans

Dear reader,

Sometimes the impossible becomes possible. I just reached a point in a story where I really didn’t know which side I had to turn. There were too many involved groups of people handing me too many possible outcomes. This doesn’t happen often, so I was thrown out of my own loop. This, I can tell you, is something very serious.

I tried to reason my way out of things with a few characters, but they all were too busily engaged in the story to pay me any mind (being ignored by your own inventions is also bad), so I had to resort to something dramatic.

Example of a Plan. Not mine, I promise!

I had to write down a plan! Horror, shock, this is entirely out of my realm and league! Still I sat down and wrote the plan. First I inventoried everyone I had in the story, and where they were, and what they wanted. I ended up with 9 factions. Sheesh, where did they all come from?? I started doing a bit of Sherlock Holmesing and managed to eliminate 3 of them, so the picture became a bit clearer. Then I set off to write down the wants and hopes of each group. I had no idea that this was so interesting to do! As I was working on that I slowly found out which group of people in the story had the same idea of the end as I did. That put my nose in the right wind. I now knew which group I had to root for!

After that success I treated myself to a fresh cup of tea, and the cats to a snack, and now we’re all happy. At least I think the cats are happy too; they’re staring at me while they sit near the cupboard that hides the snacks…