No Signal…[NaNoWrimo Thoughts & Other Predicaments]

Going on hiatus.  Sam  (my adorable supportive husband) just butchered the entire idea of “Finding Ethan”. I mean I know it’s completely flawed. What do I know about writing? Nothing. This is my first time to publish online. I just write for the heck of it. I’m not expecting him to like it. I just thought shoving my iphone away while I’m showing him the last part (because he read the first three voluntarily anyway. I never forced him) is just plain rude. But I guess there’s no better way to say your work sucks…

Let’s just remove positive reinforcement in our dynamics.

I got two or three more parts left but my characters just abandoned me in the middle of my plotting. They got so bummed with my husband’s very generous remarks on how their story was unfolding.  They were suicidal. Just kill us off!  I refused to do so. I wanted us all three to move on but they just quit. And based on experience, it’s hard to chase characters who no longer want to participate. God Bless Ethan who probably jumped already on a railway track.

I lit two candles last night (All Soul’s day), one for mom and the other for the death of my first character.

Anyway I so love what David K has written in his recent post. I think I pretty much write the same way. I don’t dictate my characters what they should be like. I don’t force them in my world. I give them options and if by tomorrow morning they still want to be the same person and live in the same world I gave them, good. If not, I re-write. We compromise. A good analogy would be me – playing God – which means me- giving them free will. I don’t force the original plot on them. I always welcome possibilities. Maybe. Maybe not. We’ll see. And I guess that’s where the real fun begins. The element of surprise. The taste of spontaneity.  The uncertainties. I don’t know if this is how it works – professionally because I obviously don’t have enough experience and education on creative writing whatsoever. For all I know, I’m just playing with words here and not making sense at all.

But at least I’m having fun.

And about endings, it doesn’t always have to be a bomb. In fact, I don’t think a story requires an ending. It can simply be fragments of imagination mutating on its own.

My goal here is to simply give justice to what I have started (which I have recently failed to do with Ethan). Like what I always say, whenever I give birth to an idea, I take care of them the way I wanted to be taken care of. I don’t put pressure on them. I don’t ask them to be famous or be perfect. All I ask is for them is to be honest, kind and generous to themselves and to their readers.

They were written for a purpose and I don’t want them to ever feel apologetic for who they are. I try to write consistently as I can whenever I get time to be better. I try as much as I can to read as well to learn from others. But for now I’m going to revert back to shorts (five sentences tops)… until perhaps maybe Ethan comes back to me…as a ghost or in a form of a black cat. Whatever.

I also plan to join this NanoWrimo thing. I’m not quite familiar with the entire mechanics but it looks fun. A friend of mine joined and accomplished this last 2013 so I was compelled to do the same. She has now published four books on paperback.  She gave some ideas on how to learn stuff the right way. But fuck it. I’m so depressed with Ethan’s death.

If you want to visit her site: Ysa Arcangel

David K:

My way of preparing for a story is by sitting down and writing the story.

Stephen King, in his excellent memoir, On Writing (which I urge you to pick up a copy of), reveals his distrust of plots; because, he says, ‘our lives are largely plotless’ and because ‘plotting and spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible’. I agree. And a lack of outlining hasn’t harmed his forty-odd year career so far.

One of my favourite writers, Haruki Murakami, once said he never has a plan; he doesn’t choose the story or plot but rather, he just writes and ‘waits for the story to come’. That sounds like my kind of plan!

And master storyteller, Ray Bradbury, is quoted as saying that a ‘plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations’.

And this is how I write, it’s how all my stories write themselves. I’m a creator and dreamer first and a plotter only if I have to be.

As an INFP, I like to tease out the magic by intuition while leaving all possibilities open. I create by instinct as I go rather than through prior planning — by forgoing the torchlight and delving deep into the darkness and feeling my way through. As an INFP, I like to keep my options open, scout out the exits before entering a situation, and I have no qualms about changing direction halfway through (or even quitting if I don’t ‘feel’ the story). And that is why plotting, outlining, and title-thinking don’t work for me.

Like life, a story should be a string of spontaneous (often absurd) incidences that lead on, enfold and entangle within each other; in that sense I focus on situations and let the bigger plot reveal itself as I go (and I often surprise myself in the process). Characters and details are usually fleshed in subsequent re-drafts, not set in stone from the start.

Visit David K’s blog for the entire article : Occasional Dreams


9 thoughts on “No Signal…[NaNoWrimo Thoughts & Other Predicaments]

  1. I love the inspiration! this is my first NaNOWriMo and I have just been writing non stop as it comes to my mind. At first I was thinking “what the hell am I doing” but now I am feeling realy good about how it is all coming togeather. Yay! Good luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you found my article useful, but don’t get disheartened. We all create in different ways, there is no right or wrong. I know it’s difficult — I go through similar moments of doubt every now and again, we all do. I think your writing is very evocative and I’m always struck by the beauty and passion that stands out in your words.

    The beauty with writing is it is full of many possibilities, and sometimes, because of that we can feel anguished as there are endless ways the stories and characters can go. Stephen King mentioned that the first draft should be written with the door closed, i.e. for yourself, without judgment, the moment you open the door (to anyone) you’ll find the room full of editors and critics, and that includes ourselves.

    Natalie Goldberg in her book, Wild Mind, talks about writing with kindness, giving ourselves permission to write the worst, the best, the ridiculous, knowing that it’s not the final time, that we will be able to write again and again. It doesn’t have to be perfect first time.

    My novel at the moment is turning out to be quite unstructured and nonsensical in ways but that’s okay because I know I can always redraft, develop, and change later; the important thing for me is the spontaneity.

    Write in the way that feels comfortable for you but do it with the door closed — create first, edit later. Good luck, look forward to reading more, whatever you decide to write.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you should hold onto Ethan and your other characters. You love them, don’t you? I know you don’t want to pressure them or smother them, but our characters are and will always be more than just our creations. For one, they are like our children, but more so, they’re a part of us. Don’t let your dear Ethan die… that’s letting a part of you go with him. Even if you’re discouraged about the way his story went, find him and bring him home, bandage him up, kiss him on the forehead, and tuck him into bed with a warm mug of hot chocolate (or whatever comforting drink he likes). Let him and the others recover and then get back out there. You may even dive back into their story with the help of NaNo, or you may start over with a completely new story.

    Just like what David say, every writer has a different way of doing things. Some crash into the blank page like superheroes, while others like to storyboard and plan out what happens. Whatever helps write a story you love is the right way. And honestly, every writer comes to discover the ultimate truth of this craft: there is no right way to write.

    Jen, you’re such an amazing writer, and I support your endeavors, beside all your other readers. Go get ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh wow MJ. I’m almost out of words again. Thank you for your tremendous and consistent encouragement. I would’ve sent u a box of chocolates or a fruit basket by now if I could as a token of appreciation ha ha ha. Perhaps one day, we can sit together and grab some coffee. Who knows? The world is full of possibilities… 🙂


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