When a character comes out of the closet. A NaNoWriMo update


If you can’t see the video on your mobile device click here to see it on Youtube.

As I was making my bed this morning and running errands, I thought about my NaNoWriMo novel.

To catch you up, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month and it is consuming me. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. One. Month. To read my brief (very brief) synopsis of what I’m writing click here. 

Again, I was making my bed this morning when I started thinking about my NaNoWriMo novel and about the scene that I would probably write tonight and it hit me…the scene isn’t going to work.

“Why,” I asked myself aloud.

“Because your male love interest is gay.”

Don’t you love it when your characters come out of the closet?

Sandra Cisneros at Latism 2012

So how does this affect my novel? It doesn’t, it just makes it all the better because I finally understand that particular character better even though I created a Goal, Motivation, Conflict chart for them. Although the chart made sense at them time, it didn’t when I started writing. It just didn’t jive. (Thankfully, I hadn’t introduced that character yet so it’s all good on the word count. )

Sometimes, characters start dictating a story to you. They begin to reveal themselves to you even though you’ve set up their world and who they are. It’s at that moment, when the characters start to take over and (in this case) come out of the closet that the story becomes real. I argue that that is moment when you actually start to write a story and you open yourself up to the world and the lessons it has for you.

There I go again, talking like a writer or something.

What does this mean for me? It means I’m falling in love with my NaNoWriMo novel which means I’m cheating on the novella I was working on.

Last week, Sandra Cisneros gave me some great writing advice. (Now THAT’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d write but I’m glad I did.) When I asked her about trying to get the energy to go back to revising my thesis/novel, she said to put it aside and write something else. Write something you are drawn to, something you are passionate about. For me it was that novella that was set in the 1940s south. Now that passion has refocused to this new project.

It’ll be interesting to see what will happen at 50,000 words. At 8,600ish words, it’s already drawing me in. All in all, it’s not a bad thing. Write on everyone and enjoy the video!

Want to know more about characters? Join me here at 10 a.m CST Nov. 17 for a short lesson on How to Create Awesome Characters!  Learn more by signing up for my newsletter below.

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