When NaNoWriMo took off, Chris Baty, who instigated it, wrote a book called “No Plot, No Problem”. In fact, it is lying on my desk right now.
Now, most authors fall somewhere on the spectrum that has plotters on one and pantsers (flying by the seat of your pants) on the other. Most likely, there is a normal distribution on that spectrum, meaning that most writers plot somewhat and pants their writing somewhat.
But this post is not about defining where you are on that spectrum, nor will I choose sides. Every writers creates their own method and style of writing, and develops it into a process.
That’s how it goes. None is better than the other, but one might fit you better than the other.
NaNo is an awesome way to find out.
But I still have no plot!
And it probably is no problem unless it keeps you from writing. But the charm of NaNo is that it allows you to contact your writer brain, and possibly dig deep into that subconscious well of story-telling ability.
Well, most of us have been reading stories for years and years. You’ve been absorbing story-telling technique with every book and every short story you ever read. You’ve been studying it, without quite realizing it.
Honestly, how many hours have you spent reading in your life?
Most likely, thousands.
That’s a vast store of knowledge. You know a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. You know that characters learn something during their adventures. You know they will be tested and tested again before the climax and resolution.
You know these things because they have happened hundreds of times in those books you’ve been reading. It’s burned into your subconscious.
And NaNo is where you can learn to trust that story-telling knowledge that you carry inside.
You do this by simply writing every day. Without censorship, without allowing that inner editor to stop you, without doubting the story. Just write.
Your story won’t be perfect. It will need tweaking. It will need editing.
But NaNo isn’t there to produce the perfect novel. Not at all.
NaNoWriMo is the one thing that can bring out that story-telling ability by forcing you to use it. No matter what.
No Plot. No Problem.
You got this.
And here’s some tapping to get you past that self-doubt.
Even though I don’t really know where the story will go, I’m okay the way I am, and I now allow myself to trust my story-telling experience.
Even though it feels so wrong to have only a vague idea of where my story is going, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to simply enjoy the ride.
Even though it feels scary and exciting to dive into a story with no idea where it will lead, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to have fun with this NaNo thing and leave doubts for later!
PS: And there is always editing. Later. *wink*
What do you believe about story telling?
How much do you already know about your story?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment!
Image Source: National Novel Writing Month
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