Thursday, May 19, 2011

NoRhym-O-ReMo and Peanut Butter Brain

As any newbies to the blog may or may not know, I run an online writing community, the Write-Brained Network. And at the WB, this is our second annual mini NaNoWriMo -- we have dubbed May NoRhym-O-ReMo (No Rhyme or Reason [Writing] Month).

While all the other participants seem to be bopping along nicely, I have been doing terribly!! Boo.  I've got it generally plotted, I've opened Scrivener (this is my first time using it), and I have a few opening scenes swirling around in my noggin, but I'm stuck. I've got peanut butter in my brain, and although it's delicious and gooey with potential, I've had a hard time getting started.  UGH.

I have talked to or read stuff by a lot of folks recently who say they aren't plotters -- they're true pantsers -- and I think that's part of what's been tripping me up.  Although I've generally plotted, I guess I'm more of a plotter than I wanted to admit.

But WHY??  Why am I feeling guilty about that?  I know everyone has his or her own process. I guess it's just that, since my process is a work in progress, I'm still figuring things out. And I was trying to be like "the cool kids" and not have to plot so meticulously. Maybe one day!

Anyway, I'm getting over it. Scrivener looks to be pretty awesome -- I know, I know: Cristin, Sara & Jodi have been singing its praises for a loooooong time -- so I'm gonna get in there and plot my face off as soon as I obliterate at least half of today's to-do list.

How comfortable are you with your writing process? And how peanut buttery is your brain?

Mmm . . . peanut butter.

*wait -- what?*


  1. I plot a little, but the one thing I almost always need to write any story is a rough idea of how it will all end. Of course, the ending sometimes changes on me, but I definitely don't think that makes me a pantser.

    And I'd like some dark chocolate with that peanut butter. Thank you.

  2. I wrote my first novel by the seat of my pants. And then revised for like... nine months. And more after that. It was horrible. So. I now plot EVERYTHING :) But I don't outline so strictly that I can't have things that surprise me or change things.

    Also, yay for Scrivener! Lemme know if you have any questions <3

  3. @Bill Me too. I think I'm just being stupid!!! I'm not so much of a dark chocolate fan, so take it all!

    @Sara Yeah, I plotted pretty strictly (not that I didn't veer and not that I wasn't surprised as I wrote) with my second one. And I will DEFINITELY be asking questions! Right now, I'm just digging the note cards! :D

  4. I'm a pantser who wants to be a hybrid plotter (plantser? plonter?). I want to have more stability in my writing and, particularly, story development while not losing the freedom on pantsing it. It's a hard line to keep to.

    Have you tried brainstorming an opening? Sometimes it's enough to kick my internal writer into activity. I'm here if you want to toss around ideas. You bring the peanut butter, I'll have the chocolate-covered pretzels. Mmmm.

  5. @Denise Read SAVE THE CAT. It changed how I plot. Maybe I should read it AGAIN, in fact!

    I have brainstormed, and I have a little down. Plan to do more tonight. *I hope*

  6. ooh - I loved Save the Cat. I usually plot the next scene as I'm writing the current one. or I have an idea of where to go, just need to get there.

  7. Oh, I'm a total plotter, Ricki, so you're in good company! ;)

    I think of the step outline (or plotting) as the very first rough draft. And just as a pantser's second draft can change dramatically from his first draft, I allow myself the freedom to deviate from my step outline, if that's how the story wants to go. Heck, half the time I change direction mid-way through the step outline! It's just a shorter way to explore the different directions the story could go and pick the one that works best.

    As for peanut butter, lately I've been eating mine mixed with honey... but if dark chocolate's being offered, I won't say no! :)

  8. Hello fellow former Ohioan! New here! Came by via Chuck. Great interview by the way.

    I think it has taken me about 6 mos - 1 yr to settle into a routine and sort of milk my 'power hour' where I can just pump out 1000+ words with ease. Sadly sometimes my idea runs a muck & I have to keep refining it until it feels right or doesn't sound like I was totally wasted when I wrote it. haha I am still working on a piece of writing which I started about 4 days ago, so yeah PB brain is about right.

  9. Great post. You know where I'm at. PB Central.

    But here's your advice right back atcha...hang in there, you'll figure it out. :)

    And you will. Just because we're doing Nanaowrimo in May doesn't mean you can't do your own in June. Or July.

  10. @December I did the same thing with my last MS! It was helpful -- need to do that again, I think.

    @Andi Glad I'm in good company! :) I guess I'm at the "step outline" stage. Need to just see where the story takes me when I start getting it down on the page!

    @Sophie Glad you came over from GLA!! Thanks for your kind words about the interview!
    You can write 1K in an hour?? How I envy you! I know a lot of peeps do that on Twitter (there's a handle for it, I believe?), but I have never been able to do that. Not even when the muse is sitting my shoulder!

    @Alison PB Central -- love it! (Well, I don't love being there, but I love the name) :)
    And thanks for giving my advice back to me -- I'm really bad at following my own advice! :D
    You're right. I can do it whenever. I just really like to have the back-up of the group to keep me going.

  11. I'm a little late to the party but I like making dramatic entrances.

    I'm what Ricki would call a "pantser" but I prefer to say I write by intuition. I don't plot before I write. Sometimes after I've started and I see the direction it's going in, I'll do a rough story/character outline but emphasis is on rough. The ending doesn't usually come to me until long after I've started writing. I like this method because then I'm positive the reader doesn't know how it's going to end. If I don't know, then they don't know! But since I write horror, this method works for the genre.

    Ricki, nothing wrong with plotting! It's your way. Sometimes if/when a story goes stale on me and I end up abandoning it, I'll wish I'd plotted because then maybe I wouldn't have spent so much creative energy in a project I've lost interest in. But, such is life.

  12. @Gina -- It's never too late to come to the party! :D