Leaving on a Jet Plane

Scrubs. Big Hats. UV-ray protected running jacket. Shorts. Clip-on shades. Tiny computer. Camisoles. Condiments. 100% cotton shirts. Pens. Paper. Books. Swimsuits. Sweats. What do all of these have in common? All of it has to be stuffed into duffle bags over the weekend because as of Monday the 29th’s evening, I am flitting away to the British Virgin Islands for a sailing trip extravaganza. My sister, dad, aunt and uncle are coming too. (My mom would join but she doesn’t like the out-at-sea rocking motion common on sailboats. I don’t blame her, it is woozy at times.) It’s a rather long vacation – I’m not getting back until early (and by early I mean 2-freakin-30 in the morning) Saturday the 10th – but it will be fun too. But because of this trip, I will be missing the first two November Friday blogposts. I hope the next two weeks are lovely for you all.

A few weeks ago I realized this sailing trip would be at the very beginning of NaNoWriMo and I was unsure if I could juggle being involved with the sailing trip and handwriting at least 1,667 words per day. I still decided that I would go for NaNo anyway and accepted the fact that the first 9 days would be off word-count wise. A few days ago, though, we bought a tiny computer to bring with us in order to store photos and, just like that, *poof* my dilemma with hand-writing every word disappeared. I could type on the minicomputer and be done with the 1,667 words sooner than previously expected. Perfect! Of course it all swings on the inspiration of that particular day, of course, some days the words come gushing out, other days it’s barely a dribble… which brings me to my next point…

Yet NaNoWriMo is less than a week away and I honestly thought I’d be more prepared than this. I thought I’d have my entire plotline planned out, all the characters fully formed, the secondary characters kind-of rounded out, the little world they’re living in completed. Last week I even blogged about how I’m going to use this time to actually plan things this time around and how it wasn’t my usual MO. I thought I’d be more prepared. But I’m not.
And at first, I was kind-of freaking out about it. I kept thinking, Oh my goodness, how am I ever going to put a 50,000 word novel together without a fully-formed plan? The thought would randomly pop into my head: at the groceries picking up fruit, at work while filing timesheets, jerking me out of a dream at 2am. It would stalk my movements and spring at exactly the wrong moment – most notably while I was in the midst of a conversation, making me lose my train of thought and diverging me into writer-speak. Even now it niggles me… How am I going to put a 50,000 word novel together without a fully-formed plan?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to let this ‘less-than-perfect-plan’ prevent me from doing it and I look forward to learning more about my characters and world as I write inside it, but I do have a question to pose for all of you.

If your plotline peters out mid-stride, what do you do about it?

Warm regards,
Kellie

P.s. – Just for the record, a friend of mine asked this same question and I replied with ‘add a dragon!’ but that can’t really work for my novel as it’s not a fantastical realm. Although, thinking about it, a dragon could be any number of things…regardless…

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