Limbo and NaNo2018

Everyone hates waiting.

There are many tricks to appearing patient, of course. Mine is to cultivate a variety of projects, both mental and physical. If I am forced to wait on one I switch to another. If I am in a dentist’s office or on a stopped subway or the like, I just retreat into one of my mental projects. I have had many people remark on my patience over the years, as if it is remarkable that I am not climbing the walls.

But sometimes–before birthdays, holidays, new Avengers movies–there is a limbo, where anticipation has ratcheted up to a level where it cannot be ignored any more by any other task. That’s where I get squirrelly, especially before long journeys. (Since these moments are not generally in a dentist office or before a job interview, there is no one around to correct their opinion of me as a patient person.)

For the last two months I have been studiously focusing on Ashes and Blackout Odyssey. Creampuffs has sat on the edge of my periphery. I studiously avoided daydreaming about what it would be like if I “won” Pitch Wars, that is, if a mentor chose me. Instead I focused on what I would do after the mentees were announced and I finally admit to myself that Creampuffs, while it tried ever so hard, has gone as far as I can take it.

It’s hard not to think of PitchWars like the announcement of a school team; on October 12th all the chosen will be listed together on the PW blog. All hopefuls find out at the same time. The only way we find out is by searching the list for our names, our fingers crossed behind our backs, whispering a tiny “please please please“, trying not to be distracted by the lucky few who have spotted their names already while we double-check, one more time, just in case we somehow missed something.

The results are going to be posted 3 days from now. There’s a lot of excited writers out there.

Oddly, I am not one of them.

I do have a weird sense of anticipation that’s making me antsy, but it’s not because I am anticipating being a mentee. Rather, the opposite: I want to implement my post-PW plans for Creampuffs already. I have spent the last two months thinking about what I’ll do, and I want to do them now and I hate waiting.

But I am also a grown-up and can see the value in holding off until the results are announced. It would be rather stupid to disqualify myself at this time just because I got antsy, wouldn’t it? So I wait.

Hating it.


In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy by working on a “show bible” for my NaNoWriMo 2018 project, Fletcher & Cooper. Someone online mentioned an article on creating a bible for a television series to someone else, which I opened out of idle curiosity, but half-way through I realized it might be the answer to my pantsing prayers: a way to do all the prep work for a novel without doing an actual outline.

Like many pantsers, if I know too much about the plot of my story before I write it, the story doesn’t get finished. I lose interest once I know all the beats, and so all the advice out there for “how to prep for a novel” which is outline-based is useless to me. (Just as a point of pride but all the stories I’ve ever tried to write to an outline, even a bare-bones one? Only succeeded because they went completely off the rails early on and were the better for it. I’ll die on this hill.)

So outlines are out. But how else to prepare? And I want to make sure that I have enough plot to make it through NaNo. Even if the story is a wireframe that I need to fill out as edits, I want it to be finished by November 30. I have too much in my life right now to suffer through another overhanging, unfinished novel.

Which is why I think the show bible will help. I can brainstorm characters, elements, locales, cultures, etc., in October. Even things I think I will never use. Collect it all in one place so that Nov. 1 I can hit the ground running.

Oh shit! It’s the Week 2 Weepies and Our Heroes are in a slump! What to do?? *flips pages of show bible* ah yes, NINJAS can reveal THIS PLOT POINT in that I need to hit in THIS FULLY-FLESHED OUT BUT RANDO LOCATION. How? Why? Where will it lead? I don’t know yet! That’s what makes it fun!Fletcher & Cooper Title Page

Well, if I’m honest, designing the bible is pretty fun too. And definitely a distraction.


3 days to go until Pitch Wars results and getting on with the rest of my plans for Creampuffs. I can last three days. Right?

 

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