No Pants This NaNo

This is my second year doing NaNoWriMo.  I’m a little bit behind.  Like 6,000 words behind. Yikes.

I blame the pantsing.  This year, I tried to pants it.  Or, as my mentor/teacher/challenge master calls it, “writing into the dark”.   Turns out I don’t like pants and I’m afraid of the dark.

While I have no trouble creating setting and character in the dark — and indeed, fall hopelessly in love with both while bumbling around clueless  — plot and theme become a quagmire of impossible choices.

Plot is essentially what-happens-next.  Seems ridiculously easy on the surface.  But I am the creator of my world.  Literally ANYTHING can happen next — a ghostly visitation, a world-ending meteor, a love affair, a forbidden act of magic, a murder.  Anything.  Anything.  A character can go left, or go right or be soft, or be violent or back away or move forward or do anything.  Anything.

I try to use theme to corral my endless plot choices.  What is the story about?  But it could be about ANYTHING.   Oppression.  Isolation.  Ugly things we do to each other as people.  Anything.  Anything.


But I’m pushing through it.  I have a beginning and an end now.  And most of a middle.  Onward.