Stopping to Invent a Map to Look At #amwriting

Looks together and organized, doesn't it? NOT.
Looks together and organized, doesn’t it? NOT.

THE PROBLEM WITH being neither a NaNoWriMo planner nor a pantser is that sometimes I run off the map.

Take yesterday, for example. I got no words written. Why? Because I know darn well that I need a new character. A real supporting character, not a bit part. I know how, in general, this person fits into the story, but not specifics. I’m going to have to back-write (him/her/it) in which means that I need a visual of how he fits into the overall novel.

That means I need to go back and revise my so-called plan. I really can’t make any progress that I feel good about until I do. So, I need another branch on that mind map you see in the upper left.

The map looks really organized and cool, doesn’t it? Almost as if the colors mean something, and events and people are lined up in neat stacks. It’s not—not really. I color it brightly to keep my attention; the colors themselves have no meaning. The stacks are plotlines involving a given person. Problem is, I’ve introduced new ones and abandoned others. The map needs… combing before I can get on with writing.

So I’m taking today to do that, as well as catch up on blogging and business stuff. If it means not finishing 50K for November, oh well—I’ve had plenty of experience with what happens when I keep drafting when my map means nothing. Mostly, a mess is what happens, which takes me months to untangle. Nope, better that I hit 50K mid-December than have something that I need months to make fit for other eyes to read.

Laters, dudes.


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