K is for Kapow! (You got a twofer for the blog chains today)

Eric started this blog chain with this challenging question:

When was the last time you just sat down and started writing, with nothing but a whisper of an idea to guide you?  Did you find it easy to do or did you find yourself struggling for a more organized story?

You know, the last time I sat down and wrote off the cuff was NaNoWriMo 2009. I knew my MC was a shapeshifting teen who had to rescue her dad with the help of a cutie-patootie love interest. Anything more than that just hadn’t been dreamed of yet.

70,000 words and 30 days later, I had a whole novel. Granted, it’s gone through several revisions and is a lot different than the NaNo version, but I think the process was quite freeing and fun.

What did I like about it?

I could let my imagination have free reign.

If I wanted to dawdle, I could.

If I wanted to skip ahead and write an action scene, I could.

Not knowing where the story was going was soooooooo exciting, I could barely wait to get home from work to start working.

Gotta say, things are different now. I tend to focus on outlining a plot. It saves revision time later. But I still had fun way back when just letting go and writing for the sheer bliss of it.

Margie’s response was yesterday in case you missed it. Sarah is up next.


Check out Lydia’s response to Sarah’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question!

Every Wednesday

17 comments on “K is for Kapow! (You got a twofer for the blog chains today)

  1. NaNoWriMo can be fun if you free yourself to write without editing and not worry too much about making word count. Congrats on finishing the novel!

  2. vixter2010 says:

    I’m quite bad at planning, I like just writing but then I have to go back and tweak or add bits so it may take me longer in the end!

  3. Ciara Knight says:

    I participated in the NaNoWriMo last year and in 2009. Completed both. I enjoy the challenge, but at the same time, I’ve learned to go in with an outline and some preparation. This avoids major rewrites for me.

  4. I never did NaNoWM before but I have sat down and just written off the cuff. I prefer to have an outline though- I actually feel free-er and more liberated if I know where I’m going and look forward to future scenes/have time to think about them until they’re just perfect in my head and then write them.

  5. Linda Gray says:

    Great question, and I relate to your answer, although I didn’t do NaNoWriMo last year. This actually happened for me just a few days ago.

    I think I was trying to avoid the more drudgery-feeling revision work I needed to do on my manuscript. I sat in my work chair, relaxed, and kapow! My fingers typed a first sentence that came out of what seemed like nowhere. It had no relation at all to anything else I’m working on, and was in a voice I’ve never used. The sentence: “It was the night of the day that my hair got burned clean off my head.” The next hour produced 1,400 words of totally unexpected characters and situation, and was more fun than I’ve had in a long time. (Okay, it may have been more than an hour, but it felt like less.) I have no idea what to do with this snippet, but I’m saving it to see if I figure it out.

  6. Kendall Grey says:

    Oh, my first novel was exactly the same way. I never set out to be a writer. I just had an idea and went with it. It wasn’t until much later that I became totally obsessed with getting it published. Eleven major revisions and nearly three years later, I’m finally birthing that baby (by way of reincarnation, I guess).

    I’ve learned *a lot* though. When I started the sequel, I planned everything — well, as much as my scattered, smothered, and coverd brain could. It really paid off. I hate planning, but damn it, it works.

  7. Cole Gibsen says:

    My first book was a nano novel! I love nano and the way it frees your mind of inhibitions. Such a fun month 🙂

  8. I’ve written both of my novels that way. I don’t like to outline. I never know where my story will go. I do have an idea of the outcome, but I like to go with the flow for the journey there.

  9. UGH!!!!!!!!!!! Outlining. YUCK! I’m a no outline, go with the flow kinda gal. Though, I always write my synopsis first, so I guess that is my outline. Love the twofer.

  10. Cheree Smith says:

    Nano is fun. I rarely have any idea what I’m going to write, but that’s what makes it fun. I don’t usually outline, but I’m writing a mystery this time and really need to plot the entire story before I can write it.

  11. Arlee Bird says:

    I have enjoyed writing within the parameters of NaNo. Like you say, it’s fun to write free and unrestrained. I haven’t yet finished out one of my NaNo novels, I don’t plan to give up on them either.

    Tossing It Out

  12. NiaRaie says:

    I am very much a plotter so it’s hard for me to let go and just let words flow–at least at the beginning of a novel. In the middle it’s not so bad.
    Kudos to you for making it through NaNo with 70K. I barely made it to that 50!

  13. I definately want to try writing a novel in a month over the summer. Everyone is always saying such great things about NanoWriMo, and I have yet to try it. I had a similar process with my current manuscript. I just went with the flow for the first half of the novel, then I wrote a small outline and went with the flow. It was awesome, but, as you said, I had to do LOTS of editing afterwards.

    ❤ Gina Blechman

  14. Awesome response. I think alot of people use NaNo to be free (though probably those hardcore plotters don’t let themselves wander much maybe). I really enjoy this part of writing, where I am writing along and don’t know where I’m going. It’s kind of exciting. Anyway, great answer!

  15. Christine Fonseca says:

    I love reading everyone’s responses…so darn interesting!

  16. […] more on the topic, you can check out Laura’s post a few days ago and Abby’s post […]

  17. Akoss says:

    My first NaNo was last year, and it taught me the same thing you’ve just mentioned: being able to write freely and let the story go where it wants to.
    Now I’m planning on writing another one, loosely based on an outlining, and still let it go where it wants to. It will be an interesting experience. 😀

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