Nanowrimo Update: The Quandary of the Corn Dog

Corn Dog?

Agh!  Everything changes.

Especially when you are writing a novel in a month.

Which brings me to being a Gemini (the sign of the twins, twins encapsulated in a single person).  I do not particularly believe in astrology as a means of foretelling the future–at least not since the big stock market crash in 2007 which was totally NOT foreseen by Jonathan Cainer.   Nonetheless, I have always found myself to be an absolute down-to-the-bone Gemini:  quick, shallow, communicative, changeable, inveterately bi-tasking.

The propensity to do two things at once is reflected consistently in my fiction writing.  Almost every manuscript I’ve ever written, whether for children or adults, tends to be told in two voices, the perspective of two characters.  I can’t somehow stick to one track; as a result, I’ve grown to like the kind of interchange that two different points of view, or even stories, provides.

But when you are writing a novel without much of a plan, and with limited imagination, this kind of structure can be a problem.  In my current nanowrimo manuscript, for example, one of my two subplots has become quite a bit more compelling than the other.  I just haven’t quite gotten the gist of the other one yet:  who are these people?  What are they doing with each other?

They started out in a suburban house in Sherman Oaks, California (part of LA).  The swimming pool went green; one decided to leave, the other tied her to a chair.  She has escaped now to a motel in Venice Beach.

But this move to Venice Beach really is too early in terms of the other subplot–that’s the crew traveling through Nevada, troubled by modern art (among other things.)

So what now?  While California girl is in Venice, she has to DO something.  She can’t just sit there awaiting the arrival of characters she’s never even met!  And, btw, I realized today, she is also  going to need a whole different past, and a whole different vocation, a basic remodeling.

So, once more, now what?  Do I just forget about California girl for a while, give up my typical back and forth, and focus on the guys in Nevada?  Do I go back and re-write California girl’s whole first half, move everything forward (or backward)?    This makes a certain sense, but would probably require me to give up whatever unconscious structure has happened in the initial writing.

Alternatively, do I come up with something new and exciting for California Girl to do right now?  At the moment, all I’ve been able to come up with is the eating of corn dogs.

(In case, you don’t know, these are hot dogs on a stick, dipped into corn meal, deep fried.)

Not somehow enough.

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