NaNoWriMo Prep 2021 Part 2
You can find part 1 (which didn’t know it was going to be a part 1) here.
Take a look at the image below. It’s an early part of the prep workbook that you can get from the NaNoWriMo site.
Image description. A screenshot of a digital workbook that says: Section One, complete this section for any of your characters. It then has spaces for you to write answers for: 1 Name, 2 Age, 3 height, 4 eye colour.
I’m planning to work on my scifi novel for NaNo this year. I’m twenty thousand (ish) words into it and have some (but not all) of it planned out. So I decided to go through the workbook to prep and I got stumped a few pages in.
The image above is one of the first things they ask you about. And yet I’m at that 20k+ words into to story and I have no idea. I’ve yet to come up with a name, I don’t have a height or eye colour. At least I do have a vague age range that seems to keep changing.
I have some stuff that happens and then some other stuff, and a chapter that went SUPER dark and I am uncomfortable with the chapter existing in life at all, let alone ending up in the book.
I know that not all creativity comes in a linear fashion and that you might have some more plot first and character later (or vice versa). And that this workbook is probably also harder because I’m trying to retrofit it to an existing novel, but sheeshers, I feel really flattened after reading that part of the workbook and knowing I know nothing about my main character.
But drafts are not the same as polished, on-the-shelf (physical or digital) products. This stuff is messy and brings up “ugh” feelings and makes you question yourself. It’s supposed to. Or even if it’s too assholey and “must suffer for your art” to say it’s supposed it, it’s at least not uncommon.
By the way, I write a lot about creativity (and creativity with a chronic illness) on my Patreon page. You can join for as little as $AUD 1.50/month.