CampWriMo: Unexpected Expected Plot + The Men Are Still Good Jerks

It’s CampNaNoWriMo (or, as I call it CampWriMo, as that makes more sense to me): let’s speed-write!

Okay, I can’t speed-write, but things aren’t going too badly. My chapter-a-day plan failed, but, seeing as, on Thursday, I got ¾ of the way through a chapter with >2K words, I think I’m doing okay.

If you follow/read my tweets, you may have seen two messages along the lines of “I’ve nearly finished chapter thirteen! Now to get on to chapter fourteen,” and, five minutes later: “But what is actually happening in chapter fourteen??”

Almanac_AlexBTurns out that said chapter belongs to the other viewpoint and the sub-plot. Unfortunately, looking back over my Continental Almanac (read: in-progress multi-purpose world-building-journal), I spotted that, contrary to what I had been writing in the sub-plot, this SC doesn’t go to the Genetics College but to the Physics Institute. Explains why he’s so good at handling machines.

Further, I explicitly have the character lamenting that he was not clever enough to join the college at sixteen; whereas the other version is of him at sixteen – possibly joining the college.

Ah. This brings me to one of the things I’ve noticed with this first draft: plot-wise, things are not quite going to plan.

I have a full outline, a chapter-by-two-line-chapter plan, though not an in-depth chapter design, so the overall arcs and plots have not changed. I got from A to B, from B to C and D, and will get from D to E as easily. Look at me, I’m actually plotting with outlines!

However, the details have changed.

For instance, the massive conflict in the current two chapters I’m writing (yes, I jump around a lot) has played out so differently to what I’d expected. There’s the nastiness between the protagonist and the antagonist, but there’s also the cattiness they added, and a more subdued element of competition I hadn’t expected.

Yeah, kinda like that...but with temporal vortexes.
Yeah, kinda like that…but with temporal vortexes.

The world, the plot, the people – they keep mutating. It’s rather disconcerting. In the second of the two chapters, The Explosion of Zoey Carnassus, I had always imagined one character falling into a vortex from a height. Think Ninth Doctor, End of the World, giant ventilation and fan room. Yet, The Institute has become a lot less electronic than it first appeared – both to me and to the protagonist.

Since drafting this post, I think I’ve worked a compromise, which also gives me items for the previously-empty second storey, involving vortexes and science fiction on a smaller scale, fittable into the building.

Another thing I’ve definitely noticed is that I’m letting the characters write for themselves. Not that I’ve not done that before. But, this time, they are truly going against my initial planning.

The protagonist’s friend and Supporting Character, was always meant to be some vital part of helping her start her ‘mission’ (it’s complicated), but, as I wrote, I just knew that he was going to be the laughing cynic when she confides in him the first time. He’s more of a jerk, than the friend I originally drafted him as, for the first ten chapters, especially as he surprised me by fancying the antagonist.

Yet… His place as a contagonistic force that changes sides is integral with the character development, so, although he may be, at times, a jerk, I like him better that way. (See this post for when I released that I was happy with my MMC being a jerk at the beginning of the first book.)

In fact, they only really start to interact on a personal level when he happens to be in the right place at the wrong (?) time during a plot device/continuing incident. And after the awkwardness of what I have titled ‘the shower scene’ breaks the ice.

So: progress is being made, as are changes. No worries.

Nevertheless, I’m still happy. I have the above scenes in their glory.


I’d also like to point out that I am officially time-confused. It’s a Saturday, right? What happened yesterday? Did I post on the Friday? Blah! On that note, happy World Youth Day week and Natural Family Planning week! 🙂


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