That, or every October for the past ten years I've been agonizing over the plot I had but didn't like--or just flat didn't have--while everyone else I knew was agonizing over Halloween plans.
So. It's October 2nd, Nano 2013 is officially off the ground (the website rolled over last night, and if you haven't looked yet you totally should, it's all shiny and sparkly still) and I'm thinking about plot creation, because no matter how many times I've done this I still freeze when someone doing their first Nano asks me where I come up with a plot from.
The truth is I don't. Not actively, certainly not any more. Now I do things like try and sit down to write a short story and wind up plotting a ten book series. I watch a movie and think 'no, that shouldn't have happened, he/she/it/they should have done this' which you would think would lead to fanfic but rarely does with me for some reason. The plots just happen. All the time, certainly faster than I can manage to write them which leaves me scrambling, trying to get enough information down that I won't lose the thread.
I fail. A lot (someday I'll tell you the story of 'Lionel Richie's Greatest Hits').
So it's nearing November and it's time to think novels. They seem big, don't they? No matter how many books I plot there's always a moment where I look at my outline and think 'I've got like half a plot here. Crap.' But that's the point of Nano, biting off more than you can chew and learning how to churn through it anyway.
Which leads us here. Last week I was comparing plots and gritching about fictional people who wouldn't do what I wanted them to with a friend, and we realized something. Everything I write starts at a snowball moment. I think I remember a science show in the 80's calling it 'contact.' The point where everything happens. And more than that, it seems to be the way I see all stories. Maybe the snowball moment isn't the beginning. Maybe it's not even in the book. But to me, it's the point that means everything, and it's the point that directs where everything goes.
This years advice, when it's time to plot that insane novelling (seriously, ten years and I still can't figure out if that should have two L's or not) adventure? Find a snowball and roll it down the hill. Give it a chance to surprise you.
And then come tell me about it, I love to hear about other people's creations.