This year I'm attempting to write a 50,000 word novel* in thirty days – the annual insanity that is NaNoWriMo. The working title is "Seeing Sharp" and it's going to be a crime/thriller/mystery story. One of the questions often asked of NaNo participants is: are you a plotter or a pantser? In other words, do you plan and plot the novel before writing it, or do you write is as you go along by the seat-of-the-pants. This year I'm doing both!
I plot a bit, then pants a bit, then repeat as necessary, adjusting the plot as I "discover" new things happening with my characters. I'm attempting to keep the raw material, the plot notes and the storyboards all synchronised. This adds more time to the project during this creative phase, but I think it will save me time in the long run, helping me with editing stages once NaNo '11 is long over.
* Now I'll let you in on a little secret. Seeing Sharp is not going to end up being a novel. Instead I plan to make it a novella, or possibly something even shorter, once I've edited it down. It will then take its place as a sequel to Fugue in D Minus, which some of you may have read. Perhaps I'll write a third instalment to make it a trilogy. Nothing too suspicious about that…
…So what's with the title of this article? Well, one of the themes behind Seeing Sharp is the observation and detection of suspicious behaviour by a team of security specialists. So here's where you can join in. Inspired by Sally Quilford's plot ninjas, I'm asking if you might like to come up with some ideas to add a bit of fun to my story. Here how it works:
- Think of some kind of suspicious behaviour you've seen in the past. The weirder the better.
- Describe the details and post them in a comment here on this blog.
- I'll try to incorporate them into Seeing Sharp. Any that I use will be posted here in excerpts, for your reading pleasure and amusement.
Thanks in advance.
In other news, this blog is four years old today!