NaNoWriMo: Day 11

Day Eleven? Hah. Technically. This is only the second time I’ve sat down and actively written anything. The second time I have opened my veins and bled.

I miss it sometimes. I hate it sometimes. I don’t miss it when I’m not writing and when I am I love everything about it. All the ideas that come out of my head and flow past that (metaphorical) paper (as I write on a computer, not by hand). Some of the ideas catch, like twigs in a fast-flowing river. Others go on and are forgotten or dismissed to join up in some vast ocean of abandoned ideas.

What I liked best about my writing ‘session’ today is the secrets I unearthed about a secondary character. Things that I don’t know yet and my main character doesn’t know yet, but the seeds of the secrets, the promises that it will mean something further down the line.

I write to a plan, but only a very basic one. I have to see how the book will end – not necessarily the climax: I don’t have one yet, though I am rolling ideas around in my head. The climax for Storm of Blood did not come to me until well over half the book was written. I know how this book will end, so my job is to fill in all the other bits. Some of those bits are written down for guidance: basic ideas for fight scenes, some light romance, the overarching three-act plot. But it’s the little things that come out during the actual writing that I get excited about. The stuff you don’t plan.

My secondary character lives in a huge drab mansion that is grey and uninspiring on the outside and splashed with every colour paint on the inside. This character is obsessed with colour. Every room has a different colour theme, and the hallways leading to each room look like there’s been a paintball match held there. I don’t know why this character feels the need to decorate her house this way: I will find out later. In the meantime, my main character’s bedroom is just white. There’s no colour in there at all. That stands for her ‘blank slate’ of being, as she’s just moved to this city. If this was a film, maybe we’d get a montage of my character adding various decorations to the room to make it more colourful. Maybe my character is the kind of person who, because she feels she will only be there for a short time, she won’t decorate at all. I’ll find out later. The important thing is that I’ve set the seeds for these revelations. These unplanned tidbits will morph into something relevant, given time and attention and, hopefully, skill.

This is the beauty of writing. I don’t expect anyone to get as excited about it as I do, but that’s why I write.