I know I should have been well on my way towards the 50.000 words… but I’m not. Somehow I’m still in the planning phase. Stuck in brainstorming the actual story.
This year’s NaNoWriMo novel is going to be a novella. Something between a short story and a novel. No really. I’m actually going to keep it short and sweet. Yes, me. Short. Well, you can stop ROFL-ing now, alright?
So there is this story that entered my mind last December, just after the NaNoWriMo 2012 ended. December 12 was nearing and everyone was talking about the ‘End of the World’, as prophesied by the Mayans. Particularly, how idiotic it was and how stupid people who would believe that they had actually meant it as a literal ‘end of the world’ and it would be that day.
I was talking about it with a dear colleague of mine and then it hit me: a story. Okay, nothing special there, I’m getting hit by plot-bunnies all the time, it is harder to avoid them. Still, this was an idea that sparkled. Like a silly Twilight movie vampire.
Just as a vampire, the idea latched onto my neck and started sucking, feeding itself on my creativity until it grew into a novella.
What if… it were that day, a normal day like any other… what if… there were a twist?
I was quite busy with Nexus at the time but promised myself that if the plotbunny managed to survive until this year’s NaNo, I could use it there. Provided I took on a challenge. A tough one. “Make it a (fairly) short story.”
For me anything under 200.000 words counts a short story, but let’s aim for those 50.000 max, shall we?
There it is. This year’s NaNo Novel(la) will be “The Day”. Which is a pun, a play on the word “D-Day”, “Doomsday”. It is going to be a mosaic-story, telling the same story from different character’s viewpoints. The story spans about 2 hours of time and the location is on an west-bound train.
The genre is suspense/thriller but it will be more of a character sketch. I think. No sci-fi, no fantasy, not even a stray elf or dark god. Sorry.
And thus we have arrived at the heart of the problem:
I have the start of the story and the end clearly defined in my head. I have some vague ideas about three of the characters and even more sketchy about two others. And that’s it. Nothing in-between. A big gaping void. I need some form of outline there. Just starting to write isn’t hard, but writing without a clearly defined path is … dangerous. That leads to excessive wordiness. That’s where madness and > 200.000 word books lurk.
I stare at the blank Scrivener screen and want to touch my fingers to the keys. I want to fill that void with words. Beautiful ones. Scary ones. Doesn’t matter, as long as there are lots of them. But I refrain from it, fighting the craving. I can write the beginning. I can even write the ending. But I must have an outline of the middle before I can allow myself to go any further.