Pre-Nano Panic Sets In: Or, the novel that won’t imagine itself

October is plotting month for nanowrimo and if all goes to plan within the next week or two I will have a shiny new plot set out in my notebook and maybe added to my Scrivener novel planning files.

That’s if it goes to plan.

At this stage, fourteen days in, I have one story idea that has been brewing in my head for years now. The problem is, when I sat down and started fleshing out some of the details a few weeks ago, I realised that I probably don’t actually like it enough to write about it every day for thirty days. It’s a mash of science fiction and religious themes, sort of a deconstruction of the control mechanisms of religion and what happens when spiritual forms are interrogated by genuine spiritual power. At least, that’s how I would summarise it and I would hope I could do the concept justice.

My sociology training at this point takes over and pushes my Brain to say, “Why not just write an essay about that specific issue?” Well, why not? Maybe one day, Brain, I’ll let you get all qualitative analysis-y on the impact of religious structures on political mechanisms and how that affects individuals within a church. But for now I’d much rather explore narrative and story and give life to the characters lurking in my brain and see what happens when I unleash them on the page.

Anyway, I’ve pushed that plot concept aside and am now scrabbling through my head and old notebooks trying to find something that will hold my interest for the 1667-words-a-day-in-30-days writing marathon.

I’m hoping a flash of inspiration or a weird dream will grab my attention for long enough that I can scribble it down into my pink cat-themed spiral-bound notebook. Because the most inspiring thing I have in there at the moment is a series of crummy attempts to draw triquetras I copied out of a Celtic art book.

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