Sunday, May 19, 2013

Finding inspiration: Writing without a plan...

Legacy post from my Goodreads blog.

Update since original posting date: I'm about halfway through the second round of edits and revisions for Fearless: A survivor's account of the zombie apocalypse (or The Zombie Logs, as I as refer to it in my notes), which is mentioned below.  My challenge now is corralling all of the unbridled creativity that writing a novel in 20 days generates. 

November 26, 2012

Sometimes inspiration is fickle and not even a good mind map can save the day.

This year was my first NaNoWriMo and all I knew going in was that I wanted it to be about Zombies and that it would be a journal. That's it.

These are a couple of things that worked for me:

1. Just write whatever comes to mind. That's the key to writing without a plan.

2. Free yourself to write the story that 'wants' to be told. The characters will appear when they need to appear. The plot will make itself known. The twists will shape themselves.

3. Don't resist the urge to burn down the stronghold, kill off the main love interest or otherwise foul up the lives of your characters.

4. If your story manages to define or put limitations upon some aspect of the story, such as your zombies behave in certain ways, you might want to consider keeping in those limits. If the story decides that the zombies swarm in fall and you hit fall again, by all means swarm those zombies!

5. Finally, since you didn't plan any of it, you are very likely to forget what you were up to last time you dropped your pencil or shut off the computer. So, read what you wrote (don't edit, the story might need that crazy thing you wrote last time for a surprise or two later on). Always read through the last bit and then return to number one: just write.

It's a lot of fun writing without a plan and a great way to keep going if you can't think of any details up front. However, just like any project you want to share with others, edit, rewrite and revise for the win!

Oh, and I won the NaNoWriMo challenge! I reached 50371 words on November 24, 2012. Perhaps you'll see The Zombie Logs hit the shelves in a few months once I've had a chance to tame the craziness that writing 50k words in 20 days tends to generate (started late, finished early).
Published on November 26, 2012 06:39Tags: creativity, inspiration, nanowrimo, pantsing, planning, writing