“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
I don’t know about you but no matter how much work I put into planning, plotting and building powerful character profiles, they never really start to take proper form until I’m writing them into the story. Maybe it’s because I’m primarily a pantster and as I write, their personalities grow on the page. Some grow more than others, however, and those who I planned would carry the story sometimes fall by the wayside. Suddenly another person, comes out of the shadows, picks up the baton and heads towards the finish line.
It’s something I need to address in this years NaNoWriMo, otherwise I’m going to end up with 50,000+ words of utter confusion. With my first attempt I literally ‘lost the plot’ around 15,000 words and at almost 18,000 words abandoned the attempt when my word count fell too far behind. I was just writing words and it didn’t flow, which is the equivalent of writers block. My old friend procrastination called to see me and I was lost. The story still sits in my Drop-box folder waiting for me to go back and carry on. I know that it will be one of those projects which will float around my head and heart until I suddenly get the urge to rewrite it. The story is still good but as the characters lost their way the story died. I wasn’t gripped by them so I know that any potential reader wouldn’t be gripped by them either.
So this years preparation is more about my characters themselves. I’m hoping that spending more time living with them will make them real to me, thus make them real to a reader. I have only two main characters so that shouldn’t be too hard, hopefully, maybe. We will have to see. I know the story well enough now and I have a beginning, middle and end. I just need characters to take us there.
Good luck with your prep’ and happy writing.