It is day two of National Novel Writing Month, an annual event in November that started several years back and which I had often thought of participating in.  For one reason or another, though (not having a significant idea, being extremely busy in the month of November, getting the inspiration in February, being plain chicken) I had not yet done so.  Until Now!!

There are two kinds of participants in "Nanowrimo".

1.  The pantser.  This is the writer who decides to let inspiration hit them day one, write the quota of 1500 words each day that will get them to 50,000 words by the end of the month.  This approach has always seemed a little too "harum scarum" for me, and I've never really been tempted to trod that road.  Maybe after this month I will try this less organized route.

2.  The planner.  This person gives great thought to their plot, characters, and generally maps out what will happen in the novel more or less, so when November comes around it's almost a matter of connecting the dots.

I'm more or less doing the route of the planner, but I'm leaving some room for inspiration to strike.

Beginning in late September I became inspired by an idea I've been kicking around in one form or another for over ten years.  The character ideas, the perspective, the voice, the plot twists and the way to play with and twist common tropes of the genre--- they just started flowing.  So I took that month to spill all of those ideas, those "what ifs" onto the page.  Mostly I said "Suppose..."  and "What if..." and "Maybe...".  Next I went ahead and narrowed down some of those ideas, took some out, made some plot decisions and answered some of those "what ifs".  I made a complete list of characters, jotted some notes about them, when I thought I had too many to focus on I took a couple and combined them, as they essentially served the same purpose.  Then I made an outline of the first five chapters.  From there???  Well, I have a planned ending, and I have a general idea, but everything else is going to take a little trust and faith, and "listening to what the characters want".  Authors always say they can't make their characters do anything.  They have to listen to them.  So...I'm staying open to that.  Truthfully it's always seemed a little too precious for me, but I'm going to take their advice.

P.L. Travers always said the Mary Poppins books wrote themselves, and of course Jack Kerouac legendarily pounded out his masterpiece in three weeks, so it may be a smooth and easy road...somehow I'm leery.

I know I'll struggle and have doubts.  They seem almost to be necessary to the process somehow.  And if not necessary, at least, you can't create anything without those assholes showing up to the party, but I am determined to soldier on, in spite of what they say.  And if they seem to be making a little sense, like maybe this should happen instead of that?  I'll consider listening.  But it's such a slippery slope.  Letting fear motivate you toward excellence, and keeping it from derailing you.  Is it possible?

Yesterday I completed 2000 words, and tonight I have two and a half hours to write today's 1000-1500 in order to stay on track.

For those of you who are thinking about leaping into this, it is NOT TOO LATE!  You can go to the website linked above and register as an official participant, listen to pep talks, get guidance and advice, track your word count... it should be a lot of fun.  Really!! (SFX: manic laughter)