I didn’t mean to be a pantser

At the beginning of October I had a plan. I was going to come up with an outline for a second draft of last November’s novel, from start to finish. Because I had hit the 50k mark but not actually finished the novel, I was determined this time. 

Then, my laptop keyboard crapped out on me. R through O in the top row stopped working and my motivation to prep dropped out from under me right along with it. Although I had been making good progress on an outline, that progress screeched to a halt — I had made the fatal mistake of using an online site to map it out that I couldn’t open on my phone. So what did I end up doing? I put that novel on hold and started a new one based on characters I’ve had floating in my brain since college. All I started with were two main characters, a basic plot direction, and nothing mapped between point A and point Z. 

Because I waffled on changing my plans right up until the last minute, I started writing before November 1st. It was a good thing I did; until the past few days, my word counts have been below the advised daily average. Never before have I so blatantly pantsed my way through a challenger like this. I don’t have a title, a summary, an outline, and I’m not bothering with breaking it up into chapters yet. 

But it’s okay!

I like what I’ve produced so far. I’ve given myself permission to go back and flesh some things out when I get stuck, which has relieved some of my inner editor’s frustrations. Because one of my MCs is a writer I have regular opportunities to change up the tone and genre. All the daily tensions from my job have found an outlet, albeit translated into a completely different line of work to avoid embarrassing myself or anyone I know. I don’t know if I will hit the 50k mark in time this year, but I’m cool with it. 

Most of all, I am grateful that my partner is participating alongside me this year. Their world building geniologies are an inspiration — and if I ever need help naming a random new character, I have someone to turn to. I love our chats about what we’re working on at any given moment. At some point I might even drag both our butts to a local write-in. 

Best of luck to all my fellow WriMos out there! If having a writing buddy is helping you out too, feel free to share. 😊