Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Got Plenty of Nothing

Remember when I tried to convince you to write a novel in a month? I talked about how fun it was, and how I was doing it, how all the cool kids were, how it would make you feel good?

So I sat down today to ask myself the kind of deep questions we writers ask ourselves before we begin our novels. Important questions the non-writers amongst us may not understand, like, "What the heck am I going to write about?"

And the answer that came to me, gift-wrapped and practically written already, was, um. Er. Maybe? Nah.

I got nothing. Nil. Zilch. Zippo. Boomslang.

I'm going in blind, people. I don't have a character, a setting, a plot, or a clue. I've toyed with my post-Olympic Athenian adventure, or the kid whose grandma's a serial killer, but basically I'm starting from scratch without a recipe.

The funny thing is this: I was going to write about how terrifying that is. But really, it's not. I'm thrilled. Imagine it: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Makes me downright giddy.

So. Ideas?


J. Thorp said...

Wait a minute: If you got boomslang, what else do you need?

C.R. Evers said...

I've always wished I could write w/o a plan.

If anyone is able to do it . . . you be da woman!

Have fun Nanoing!


Rena said...

Don't feel bad, Jacqui. I think I get the "Dumbest Blueboarder Award" for posting a question on the Revision thread the other day. I asked if there was going to be another Fast Track thread soon because I had an idea for a story. I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was.

So, I decided to sign up and then came to the conclusion that I didn't want to use my initial story idea because I was afraid I'd butcher it trying to get quantity over quality. I stayed up most of last night and the night before trying to think of something. I *think* I have an idea, so now I need time to sit down and work on an outline. But, that will have to wait until we finish school today.

Good luck to you! :)

Sharon Blankenship said...

My stomach had almost settled when I started reading "No Plot? No Problem," the book Baty recommended.
If that doesn't scare the creative juices from your brain, nothing will.
I plan on reading the next chapter of "No Plot?" but I'm probably going to fortify myself with wine first. \
I may just type blah, blah, blah, as per Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Will that count?
Scared spitless,

Tabitha said...

Really?? Nothing at all?? To be perfectly honest, I see you as the Queen of ideas...after all, where do all those ideas come from for TNoftheAWSPWTBIM? :)

I think that, even if you sit down with nothing, you're gonna come up with something really cool. :)

Diane T said...

I vote for the serial killer grandma book, because if you get stuck you can always resort to a gory crime scene. Just think of how many words you could use up with synonyms for "red": crimson, scarlet, ruby, cherry, burgundy, claret....

Even better, Grandma herself is a serial killer who speaks in synonyms. She only butchers victims who butcher the English language and say things like "disorientated" and "nukular."

There ya go: get writing!

Tee Brown said...

I've got no ideas, but plenty of faith that you'll churn out something bestsellers are made of.

How's that for some positive vibes?

Tee :)

Kelly said...

Actually, you may get your best book out of this, it may be a wonderful surprise. I hope it just flows for you! Good luck!

Jacqui said...

Look at all this love!! Thanks, all.

Thorp, I am going to use "boomslang" whenever I can't think of a better word.

Christy, we'll see who has hair left in December...

Rena, that's not dumb; that just shows you have a life outside the internet.

Sharon, can't wait to see your WHOLE BOOK in December -- mwa ha ha.

Tabitha, you're right: I have ideas; I'm just not in love with any of them enough to give up canning apple products for a month for them. Or I'm too in love with them to write them in a month. Sigh.

Diane, actually I think you're right. But the kid has to go with on the spree, I think. Hmm...

Tee, those are very positive vibes -- thanks!

Elise Murphy said...

Zombies. Werewolves. Superheros. Vampires. Oh! Wait. Nope. Those won't work.

Serial killing Grandma's sound, um, odd, and new.

I'm starting to outline my NaNo. I can't wait. The ideas are spinning!

Jacqui said...

Fingers crossed, Kelly!

Elise, did The Mighty Thor put you up to the superhero comment?

Everyone, the serial killing grandma idea is (heh heh) stalking me.

Amber Lough said...

I think you should do BOTH. Place the poor kid whose grandmother is a serial killer IN the post-Olympic Athenian time-frame. Oh, and he's got these pesty goats he's got to take care of...like Elise. ;-)

LOL. My word verification is perfect today: SUPASHEA

Supa Shea. You could write a whole MG novel on THAT, dearie.

Marina said...

I need to borrow some of your "plotless yet exhilarated" vibes. All I've got is "plotless and panicking".

Nora MacFarlane said...

I've got a character and that's it. Nothing. I am soooooo out of my element. Makes you wonder why we publicly announce these things!

Good luck, Jacqui!

Jacqui said...

Amber, I think SupaShea is your rap name.

Nora and Marina, the way I see it, when you've got nothing to start, you've got nowhere to go but up. If I start with a great idea, I have to live up to it. This way, all I have to do is type 50,000 words in some order that makes a bit of sense and I'm already an overachiever!

Janelle said...

Sounds like it will be a whirlwind nano for you, Jacqui! Though I'm a plano-nanoer it sounds like a spontaneous plot may be the adventure of a lifetime for you this year! Onward and Upward!

Hey, write down any wierd dreams you have tonight. Then fiddle with that plot a bit and run with it! : )

Ello said...

Hey Jacqui! if you are nano-ing you can buddy me if you like! I am elloecho on nano! Don't worry, I'm going in completely blind also. I don't have a clue what to write! All I know for sure is it can't be my sequel for the book currently on sub because - well, you know. So, I gotta think of something else!

sruble said...

Cool, have fun! I'm using the MC from a different novel as the best friend in my NaNo novel, so I could start fresh and do something crazy and hopefully fun.

Good luck with your NaNoWriMo novel! Just 2 more days ...