Since I started thinking about nanowrimo, my brain has changed mode. It's like I'm listening on frequencies I haven't listened on for a long time.

To start with, there was nothing. It was horrifying. Where did story ideas even come from before? Have I lost the connection with that part of myself? Total static. An endless black page with nothing to write about.

A couple of days in - not specifically trying to think of ideas, but just having opened that door in my mind again - I started to hear sounds in the distance. Whispers.

Then I saw a place. Felt an atmosphere. Then I met my character. She introduced herself and showed me around. Very slowly, she has been feeding me tidbits about her life. Out of nowhere, when I'm wrapped up in something else - from yoga, to buying groceries, to writing bash scripts - I gain another little insight. She tells me something new about herself. She hints at what she's up to, and what might happen in the future. Just hints.

At the same time, I can feel echoes of things I have written in the past and media I am consuming recently, as well as things in my own life. I can really feel these influences painting the backdrop in a way I'd never noticed before.

It is absolutely thrilling to have made this connection. I used to have this all the time, when I wrote a lot. Non-stop, characters were chattering at me, spaces were inviting me to explore them. I got used to it I guess, and then didn't notice when it went quiet.

Now it's back, I realise what I was missing.

I have a person and a place, and a general sense of the world, but no plot. I get the feeling we're going to find out what happens together, in November.

🏷 over the moon nanowrimo writing fiction