Well, not entirely plotless. But definitely panicking. Nano starts in three days and I don’t feel at all ready. In fact I have more of an idea than I did last year, and that turned out all right, so I suppose I should have a little faith. I know perfectly well that panic and deadlines are powerful motivators for me.
Cool ideas keep occurring to me, but they’re more of a worldbuilding nature when what I need is actual plot details. When I sit down to write on Saturday, knowing all about the political situation or what magic users can and can’t do is not going to help me get words on paper. What are my characters actually going to do? I have an initial situation but no real idea of what happens after that. I hated that last year – desperate brainstorming squeezed into every spare moment so I would have something to write the next day. I got a reasonably coherent plot out of it, so it worked, but man, it was painful. I fondly imagined that I would be better prepared this year and avoid the mad scramble but it’s not looking good. Some serious rabbit-pulling-out-of-hat required.
The other thing that’s making me nervous is that I foolishly agreed to go away for the weekend with some girlfriends. When we planned it Nano never even crossed my mind. Now I’m going to have to be antisocial and lock myself in my room with my laptop for a couple of hours each day or risk falling so far behind I’ll never catch up. I missed two days last year (though not consecutive) and it nearly killed me trying to make up for them. Yet I don’t want to miss any of the fun with the girls either. I know, can’t have my cake and eat it too – but I wish I’d had my brain switched on when we were planning. “No, no, I can’t possibly do November 1st and 2nd. I’ll be busy creating world’s greatest fantasy novel that weekend.”
And speaking of creating: there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that I didn’t make my goal of writing one short story a week these last four weeks. The good news is that I did get two done, which is two more than I would have otherwise, so I’m reasonably happy. Though one is pretty crapulent. Not sure if I can save it, but I’ll perform first aid when Nano’s over. Still, it was a useful exercise and definitely worth repeating. Even if you miss, having something to aim for makes you more productive.
Better get back to that novel planning. I’ve got a lot of panicking to fit into the next three days.