I have survived week one of the annual National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) writing contest where thousands of contestants write 50,000 words to be declared a winner. As of today I have racked up 11,027 words, created over 10 characters, and written 4 or 5 lines that I am actually proud of. Not bad for week 1!
What has amazed me most about my experience during this first week, was that the stale and boring characters of the first few pages have started doing strange things. They have taken on a life of their own – taking the plot with them. By day 5 it seemed my well thought out plot had taken some hits. This book is not following the path I chose, it is choosing its own.
I realize that as we write, we learn, and never so much as when formulating characters and dialog. Just like in everyday life, my writing is taking unexpected twists and turns. So for the next 23 days I will be riding the wave created by my characters because I have a choice, I can either let it take me or force a direction. How could I not choose the easy way when I have almost 39,000 words still left to write? Whether writing a book or getting through the work day, it seems we are better off taking things as they come and managing change rather than always expecting things to go our way. What wave will you be riding today?