As November draws closer, I'm starting to get that panicky feeling in my gut. You know the one. That feeling of an impending assignment. A project that you know will be crucial, and you still have no idea what you're even going to do, but it's hanging over your head all the same. I get that way when I do art commissions. I actually still have two art commissions that I owe a couple people. Luckily, they're friends of mine, so they don't hound me. One of them is also an artist and she knows what it's like to have commissions hanging over you like a shroud. That's not really an excuse not to do her drawing, of course.
But I digress. The panicky feeling I'm getting this time is, of course, about NaNoWriMo. It's been over a year since I sat down and composed anything longer than a few hundred words, and in November I will expect myself to write 50,000 words inside of 30 days. That's 1,666 words a day. If I were religious I might be worried, but if I break it down into words per week I get 12,500, and that just sounds like a whole lot more. I'll try to get cozy with the number of the beast.
I am working on Caleb's character development, filling out the questionnaire in my last post for him. After that, I'll do one for Jaime, and then one for Jameson. Even though he's dead. It's critical I know as much about him as I know about the other two as he may make an appearance, and he will be a huge part of the driving plot regardless if he's physically around or not.
(It's 3:33, make a wish!)
I'm unsure whether I want to try to carefully plot my story out, or if I want to just... let it happen. I get the feeling I'll be sorry if I do that. Here I have three weeks left to plan, and I could put this time to good use. I could give some serious thought to the content of the story. I could do what a lot of writers do, and jot down notes on index cards. I could write down notes for scenes that I know I want to happen. I could tack them to my wall and rearrange their order. I could draw story arc charts. I could make time lines. I could do all this inside three weeks, easy.
Or, I could do what a colossal number of writers do who just trust their creativity to get them where they need to go, even if they don't know what their destination actually is. Going that route, your creativity is like a pair of headlights at night. You have no map (or GPS, let's get real, who uses a map anymore?). You can only see a little ways in front of you, but you can make the whole trip that way.
I don't know which approach I'm going to take yet. I should probably get on that.
As a side note: anyone from upstate New York? Or know anyone from there? Caleb grew up in the finger lakes region, and as a result, he doesn't speak with a Brooklyn accent. Rather, he would have an accent closer to the upstate counties. I just want to get a handle on how he would talk, and if there are any phrases he might use in lieu of others (like the universal questions of "soda" vs. "pop," "bucket" vs. "pail," and "cupboard" vs. "cabinet"). I don't want someone reading my story and being thrown by what I would consider a small detail. What I might consider small might mean the difference of authenticity for someone else.