Before the Novel
I've been having a fair amount of difficulty writing lately. No... it isn't the writing part, exactly -- rather, it's the plotting that must happen before writing. I have trouble with this stage. Always. If you recall, I put up quite a few frenzied posts before NaNo last year, this being one of them. And once again, you, my blog readers, are the ones who get the front seat to my writing weaknesses. So be my guest -- get comfortable, grab a pillow and a cappuccino while we commiserate together.
I'm plotting for Camp NaNoWriMo. Tentatively. Because as we all know, I tend to have a hard time committing to writing challenges until they're almost upon me. (Even on November 1st I was completely unsure of whether I wanted to let NaNo devour my entire month. I succumbed, of course.) So, when I say that I'm plotting for Camp NaNo, take it with a grain of salt. Or a pound of salt. Whatever you wish.
Anyway, even if I don't do Camp NaNo, I've decided I'm going to write something this summer. What might that something happen to be, you ask? You know her well. Perhaps too well. Or perhaps not at all. Her name... is Avary. (The idea of her originated here, and subsequent posts about her can be found here.)
Yes. I've finally decided to write her story. I've wanted to write it for a long time, and even tried writing it multiple times. Now I'm taking the leap... and I've landed straight into a plothole. Lots of them. Plotholes are huge gaping crevices in the middle of the ground, filled with inky words and scattered ideas that somehow don't want to cooperate. Plotholes are my worst enemy (besides Sauron, but we didn't come to talk about my escapades in Middle Earth, did we?).
Anyway. Avary's story was born around two years ago on a dark and stormy night. (Just kidding. I have no idea what the weather was.) I had a dream about that reeked of sci-fi and fantasy, filled with time travel and a random dude named Brian who had lots of problems to juggle.
This story has gone through so many revisions. So many characters. Brian has now become Ryan, and I love him to pieces. And somehow, somewhere, Avary intruded on this mess of a novel inkling by quietly wiggling her way into my thoughts and ideas.
Now, however, my plot is a mess. It turns out that novels don't take kindly to you deleting entire characters. (Ha, yes, I deleted one. Violet. I don't regret it; she needed to leave.) I have several gaping plotholes, as I've mentioned before, and as soon as I figure out how to fix one, I'm faced with several others. One of the biggest ones is my characters (except Ryan, of course, who has been positively wonderful through this whole process). My current two-dimensional problems. Avary. Bailey. Sawyer. Their personalities are incredibly void, lacking life and vigor to make them whole people. Maybe it's because they're too perfect -- or, maybe, in Avary's case, they're too flawed. I don't know.
So here I am, once again in the place I was last October, trying to find a plot. Grasping for something -- anything to hold onto. And desperately hoping that my ideas aren't cliche, hoping that I'll find something positively brilliant that will shake the world to its core. (It probably doesn't help that I just finished The Hunger Games trilogy and I'm wondering how on earth I can write a masterpiece like that.) I'm also overusing semi-colons; I recently discovered how wonderful they are and they make me feel highly pretentious.
But I digress. Any advice would be welcomed. Or maybe just well-wishes and prayers. I've been here before, and I'll be back here again. It's the place where ideas collide and ink is poured and sweat stands out on my poor little forehead while my brain is sorely overworked. It's the place before the novel.
(And then we have the actual writing bit, which could be just as torturous, but I refuse to think about that.)