A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Friday, January 27, 2012

Speaking of plots...

A couple of blog posts ago, I mentioned that I have started a new book and that the main character is an accountant.

When I start a new book (except when I'm doing NaNoWriMo), what happens is that I get a character in my head, and then that character has a lot of conversations with other characters.  They're interesting people, and I enjoy listening to their conversations with each other.  There's drama, there's conflict, there's something to listen to in my head while I ice my knee at physical therapy because ESPN just doesn't do it for me.

The problem is that it's a bit like watching an episode of Seinfeld.  There are lots of amusing vignettes, but no plots.  So I spend weeks or months getting to know my characters and trying to convince them that they have to do something more than just sit around and talk.

When I'm doing NaNoWriMo, it is a whole different situation.  I don't have time to get to know my characters and politely suggest that they do something with their lives.  I have to come up with 50,000 words RIGHT NOW, so they have to get their butts moving.  That's why this last year my fairly normal teenage girl had been stabbed, traveled to another planet, been kidnapped by ninja pirates (thanks, Meagan!), survived a bombing attack, been drowned in acid that turned her into a superhero, stole a spaceship, and saved the planet by the time I'd come up with 50,000 words.  That is desperation, people.  Jacob loved it.

Lacking the NaNoWriMo desperation, so far my main character has complained about her boss, argued with her boss, and flirted with a client.  Amusing, but none of this is going to get us anywhere.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to bring ninja pirates into it, and I'm just not sure what that has to do with public accounting.

There might be a good reason why I tend to add paranormal elements to my fiction.  What do you think?  A mind-reading CPA?


  1. Strangely, I ended up writing a lot of conversation, description, and exposition into my NaNoWriMo novel this year. I discovered that kinda boring stuff can build word counts too.

    I'm not sure what the means for my writing, though...

  2. When I write stories they usually end up being about 90% dialogue. Thank you for saying that about the characters in your head keeping you amused, though, Amy... I thought I was the only one!!!

    And paranormal elements are always good. And they're apparently all the rage right now. (See: Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.) Bring on the mind-reading, telekinesis, pyrokinesis (that one's always fun!) and above all, the ninja pirates!