I need to confess. I'm not writing a 50,000 word novel this month as previously announced with the other NaNoWriMo fanatics. I tried. I was away on November 1, but started the next day with a creak (not a bang). I wrote about 300 words--barely got started. The idea of creating characters out of whole cloth was almost overwhelming--not because I had no ideas, but because I had so many widely varied thoughts on whom I might create.
During the last week of October (NaNoWriMo started November 1), I did some reading on character development, plot, story development, etc. It all seemed very workable; you get your plot idea, shape your characters, develop the theme...but I just didn't know how I could possibly do it without extensive outlining to know where it was all going. (I know, NaNoWriMo's motto is "no plot, no problem"--I just can't go with that.) But, in the end, the fear of creating some characters, starting a hastily conceived plot, and then potentially having all of the wrong people in my story, none of them capable of doing or being the people I needed to fulfill the plot (after maybe 20,000 words, say) is what really stopped me. Without enough time to clearly outline a good plot idea, how could one develop the right characters to fulfill it?
I actually stopped novel-writing on November third (it took this long to return here to admit it). I just could not take the time on something which was not well-prepared, which for that reason would likely end up a waste of time. I think I'm just a planner, and need some assurances that a story I would start, with characters I would create, could make it through to the end with some degree of believablilty.
Upon reflection, I think I'm more suited to a fact-based book anyway; a dream of mine would be to write a travelogue, or perhaps a memoir of sorts, or a guidebook. It's what I read, so it's what I like and know.
Also, I just am not free to spend that much time on something that I view as I described above. My Italian studies (L'italia intermezzo, Tuesday evenings) were already suffering from my normal activities, and hubby and I have started taking Yoga (him for the first time, me, a returning student), my work is all backed up since my illness, and I'm just recently feeling well enough to try to work back to my old state of physical fitness, and I'm also making things for Christmas gifts these days. So, I have a lot of other priorities right now.
Funny, I gave my whole reasoning above when I could just have explained by saying I decided not to do it because I didn't want to do it. Anyone else ever feel like that? You have to fully justify a decision (or changing your mind) to that unseen "someone," as though you'll be judged inadequate unless your reasons are "good enough"? But that's another post, I'm sure.
So, don't be looking for a novel out of me anytime soon, but you bet I'll write one after I have fully thought-out the plot and characters!