Counting today, we have just three days until NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). And I’ve been my usual lazy, preoccupied self and have prepared—Nothing!
But, today I gave myself a little pep talk.
Wabbit—you gotta get busy. There’s a novel in you. It’s your novel. Not somebody else’s. Get in there and write it. Just do it!
Self, I said, How do I just do it? Where do I start?
My Self was stumped for a bit and then said: Draw one of those circle diagram things. Start with the word “Theme.” That’s easy enough.
So I drew a circle around the word “Theme.” Then, I drew lines to the circle with different things that have been bugging me over the years. I began with the word “Dystopia.” I like dystopian novels and would like to write one. 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 are a couple of my favorite brain scratchers.
After that, I felt stumped. I can’t do this, I said to my Self.
And Self said: Wabbit, you’re always complaining about stuff. Animal rights, religion, Mars, the time/space continuum. You even think you solved the mystery of death. Get in there and graph it out!
So I did. Then I was so inspired that I took out a new piece of paper and drew a circle around the words “Questions asked.” What is the driving question of my novel going to be, based on my theme ideas. And again, I went round the circle with all kinds of radical ideas which made me happy.
I started thinking that the greatest authors, like Robert Heinlein, dared to asked those uncomfortable questions and see where they led. In Farnham’s Freehold, the family went into the fallout shelter, the end of the world happened, and then we got to see what happened after that. And it was radical.
Can I let my imagination go that far? Can I be that daring? Will my internal censor shut down all my fun before I can type it? My censor is very active. I will have to be crafty.
What are you doing to get started? I’ve love to hear your strategies.