Chris Baty, Can You Hear Me Now?

nano_09_red_participant_100x100_11 Wow. I’m singing along with Dayner’s play list for novel writing. And perched on the edge of my seat to see what happens to Kathan’s Mean Girls. And cheering that Dark Angel’s voice is coming on so loud and clear….

Me? I’m feeling dangerously unprepared for the upcoming NaNoWriMo experience, with a measly two and a half pages of hand-written notes in my own back-scratch handwriting that even I can’t read. And these notes are scribbled on the back of the mileage log from our last road trip – not even in the spiffy new notebook I bought expressly for NaNoWriMo!

So I tried deep, meditative breathing for focus, which hasn’t helped squat, and now I’m turning to you, Chris, for inspiration. And I see you shape my mantra for the coming month: PLOT HAPPENS.

Oh, Chris, I hope you are right!! You write: “If you spend enough time with your characters, plot simply happens.”

I do have characters, lots of them. I’m going to spend the next ten days trying to get to know some of them better to see which ones are most interested in going on a wild ride with me. I have a few ideas where we might go, but they will probably have some better thoughts, and maybe not until we actually hit the road.

Plot.

Happens.

Oh, Chris, I hope you are right!!

5 comments to Chris Baty, Can You Hear Me Now?

  • Ya know I think Chris might be on to something. The last two stories I wrote sort of wrote themselves. Once I had my characters picked out and one serious event I started writing and it just came out. I think getting to know your characters is a good plan.

  • I am also beginning to thing Chris is right. After I took Alcorn’s fiction class, I thought I’d better not try my hand at a novel until I had every piece of plotting done through a 9 point set of acts. I just don’t write that way! I did Mean Girls with just an idea that I wanted to portray an icky work environment, make it dark humor, and I had the characters in mind. That’s it. It wrote itself!!

    So am thinking that getting know your characters over the next week is a really good idea, and I am going to work on that, also.

  • Nancy

    Well, my characters and I just took a long walk and it was fun. I have one story (yet unfinished) where I knew, specifically, how it would end — and it’s just not so much fun to work on as the stories where I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

  • I know Chris is right!
    *
    I tried to set up a plot point for an idea I have been tinkering with since Ann’s class using the formula Kathan is referencing. Every time I sit down to write, I end up way off the page. I try to restructure the plot points, and again, the same thing happens. It has taken me more time to start the full version of The Girl in The Yellow Polka-dot Hat, than it has ever taken me to write anything. Even when I had no idea what I was doing.
    *
    I say, “To Heck with Rhyme and Reason. To heck with systematic formulas.”
    *
    Get close to your characters and they will reveal the plot to you!
    *
    The way I see it, I would rather have to do a little restructuring later to make sure my theme and premise are consistent, than to never start the darn book.

  • Nancy

    Once again, DS, I agree with you. I’ve spent the week-end cozying up with my fictional buddies and I have a great deal to learn from them…

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