NaNoWriMo update: already off the rails!

justminnieI posted earlier about Pantsing vs Planning and I came out in the middle, doing minimal planning but mostly leaving the story to grow organically. I learned in the wee hours of November 1st, at the Nindy Nanoween party that this method is also called “lampposts in the fog” or something similar… still looking for something online to back that up.  The ideas is that you have key events that have to happen (like Doctor Who’s “fixed points in time”) dreamed up, but you let the story and characters take you wherever else they want to go on their way to those lights in the fog. I called it laying down rails for the story to run on.

And this year, for National Novel Writing Month, I made a listing of potential chapter ideas. I started out following it, but so many other ideas have bloomed since then as I wrote, that the story’s already jumping those rails. I’m not trashing the plan, but I am letting the muse lead me along.

And I love it. I’ve gone from feeling so-so about NaNo and this novel to being very excited, since I no longer know for sure where it’s going to end up, or what’s going to happen along the way.

It’s going to be awesome.

5022 words so far.

If you’re doing NaNo too, how’s it going? Planning, pantsing, or otherwise?

About ecgarrison

Author. Brewer. Gamer. Geek. Trans.
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6 Responses to NaNoWriMo update: already off the rails!

  1. Nice start to it with the word count! And just let it flow and let it take you where it will!


  2. velouriads says:

    Pantsing, planning what? Um, crying mostly. Right now it is only on the inside, though. so we’ll see what happens.

    • ericgarrison says:

      You know I have faith in you. Just follow your muse. Or hunt her down and sit on her until she gives up that inspiration.

  3. marianallen says:

    I like that “lampposts in the fog” thing. That sounds like what I’m doing. You’ve got me beat on word count, but I’m still on target. 🙂

  4. What a great start. Lampposts in the Fog. I like it. That’s how I’ve been writing my novel, though I never had a name for it until now. It’s been a great ride and I love every moment. There have been a few storylines I’ve had to trash and redo from scratch, but I think that makes my story stronger. I work out the ideas until they aren’t the generic garden variety. I’m hoping it will keep my story from being predictable and a fun read.

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