“The world is but a canvas to our imagination” — David Thoreau
We’re still in the broad strokes stage of our work, cracking 5,000 words today if we’re on schedule. Truth be told, we’ll be working in broad strokes for most of the month. NaNoWriMo isn’t the time for subtlety and fine detail. Sure, some are going to show up, gems that surprise us even as we write them, but those aren’t the norm. Right now, we’re roughing things in, preparing for the larger work. The fine detail comes last. Before that, we have to do the layers of underpainting that will support what you see on the surface.
The problem is, even this early in the journey, there’s a tremendous desire to already be in that fine detail, feel the story and characters come to life beneath your fingers as they will be when you’re finished with your work. Sometimes, this stage of laying the ground work can be boring because, while solid and important, this is hardly the sexy part of writing. This is paying the bills and balancing the check book; you know you have to do it, but you’d rather be anywhere else.
Even if you write out of order, you know this bit is coming because the big scenes have to connect to one another. The reader may remember the moment when our heroes confront the villain or the lovers confess their passion for one another, if we don’t have that connective tissue, all the groundwork that needs to be laid. If we don’t have that, the response may be, “There were some great scenes, but the story just didn’t hold together.”
So don’t forget to lay in your base colors, the background on while you’re building your world. This may not be the most exciting thing, but it’s important. And if it doesn’t quite blend together at this point, that’s okay. If you should see where the path should lead, it’s okay if there’s some winding and jagging. Keep laying your groundwork, knowing that soon things will take root and bloom.
Word Count Goal: 5,001