So, I think what I'll do is brainstorm right here. You know, just freewrite, like flipping through my brain's current photo album, and see what comes out. It'll be a little experiment. And I'll do it in list form, because lists make me feel happy and safe. So, without further ado...
- NaNoWriMo. I'm not so much doing it as I am finding new and creative ways to work around doing it. You see, I thought at first that I might leap headlong into the fray of NaNo, throwing caution to the wind, and - gasp - write without a plot or an outline or anything but a vague sort of idea-thingy-dingy. You'll be shocked to learn that this lasted about ten minutes, before I looked in dumb dismay at my computer screen, and said (maybe out loud. I'm not telling), "I have no idea what the f*&$ I'm trying to write about." Yes, I confirmed once and for all that I am not a pantser, because no matter how hard I try, my brain just doesn't work that way. I can't write without at least a brief sketch of a road map, it turns out, and I can't make that map without knowing my characters.
- Not worry! I haven't stopped trying; I've just changed tactics. I may not be able to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, but I might be able to write 50,000 words of character analysis, free-writing, and outlines in a month. That's what I'm doing now. Perhaps some people might call that "cheating"; I call it "changing the goals so I don't get ridiculously frustrated and unnecessarily upset with myself and actually manage to get something done."
- Guess what? It's working! I don't have anything close to 50,000 words, and I might not hit that target (thank you, life, people, day job, and so on), but I am churning out my brainstorming quite a bit faster than usual. And since I LOVE brainstorming so, so, so much, anything I can do to speed the damn process up is a big fat WIN in my book.
- For those following this new book of mine, Sam's name is now Taylor. I took a brief and entirely unscientific poll, and people seem to have much fewer immediate gender associations about "Taylor". So that's what I'm going with.
- Taylor is, yes, still very keen on getting me to tell their damn story (I'm going with 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she' on the excellent advice of Mr. M.L. Swift. Thanks, Mike!) Thanks in large part to all of your great advice, I'm now enjoying it rather than wondering if I've truly lost my marbles.
- I'm also working on a few new sections/lifetimes, involving an old man in ancient Tibet, and a nomad in pre-Columbus South America. The amount of research I'm going to have to do for this thing is starting to get a bit alarming.
- No, I haven't forgotten about Cloudland. Editing is truly done. I've queried a few agents and am now waiting, quite calmly and patiently, to hear back on this first round of queries. I do not, of course, refresh my inbox 75,000 times per minute, nor do I do anything foolish like jump out of my skin every time I have a new email notification. Of course not. Ha, ha, ha.... UGH. As a side note, how the hell do people stay sane doing this?????
- I also entered Cloudland into some contests. Some results are encouraging, but far from finished. I'll keep quiet about that for now, but will hopefully have news.... later. Things are brewing.
Hey... that wasn't so bad! I guess I can write without an outline, as long as what I'm writing - is an outline!