A (Possible) New Writing Superstition

So I promised to be back and post more and obviously I lied, you should be used to that by now. I’ve been sick lately which is one reason there’s not been posts but the main reason is that that I’m participating with a friend in our very own NaNoWriMo. November is a bad month for me, in addition to my natural procrastination there are papers due and midterms/prep for finals. It just does not work and so from Dec. 6 – Jan. 6 I am attempting to write 50,000 words. I started out strong but the plague knocked me on my ass and I’m currently at about 7,000 words.

It’s a novel by the working title of Spin Tight, Unravel and thats’ all I’m telling people right now. I’m testing a theory and perhaps a new superstition. I’m am not a plan-ny sort of writer. I’m generally much more organic, when I start a story I may have a vague idea of where I want it to go and how it should end but it’s all mutable to a certain degree. Often I’ll only start with an image, like a woman walking out of a burnt out valley will all her hair shorn and bloody and the story will build up around that image.

So the idea of outlining a novel does not work for me. I’ve tried and what almost inevitably happens is that I become bored with the story. When I write out the important points and the story unfolds in my mind it feels already told, there’s no surprise for me, no fun in the story. I admire people who can outline and write that way but it’s definitely not for me at this point in time. So my not telling people about the plot of Spin Tight, Unravel is along this line of thinking that maybe if I keep the ideas inside my head I’ll feel more of an urgency to get them down on paper and actually finish this novel when I’ve never finished any of my others. We’ll see if it actually works.

So yes, no sharing of the plot at all but I will share a small (very) rough piece of what I’ve already written:

There writ across her mothers form had been a story, a moving tapestry of her mother clad in piecemeal armor, with a spear in her hand. The mother on her mother had had her head titled up towards the mound of breasts that formed her sky. There curling around the points of the northern mountains were all manner of beasts: fire in the form of women, long black snakes opening their maws to reveal blood red throats, creatures of one or three or sometimes a hundred legs, things that looked like dogs but with a human faces. Tentacles, horns, fingers, feathers, fur, braids, toes, claws and scales, all of it blending and moving around each other in huge clouds of flesh. They only had one thing in common they called for her mother and they were beginning a descent towards her.

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One response to “A (Possible) New Writing Superstition

  1. Great stuff.

    Figuring out process is one of the hardest parts of the process. That’s one reason I can’t stand it when people, in the guise of mentors or teachers, teach a “One Way” this-is-how-you-should-do-it doctrine. Because in my experience, every writer has to figure out how the process works for her/himself.

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