It took me a grand total of 3 days and 4800 words to lose inspiration for my novel. I knew this was going to happen eventually because A) duh and B) I still don’t really have a plot…but I was hoping that as I started writing and doing intro and suchlike that enough of the world would emerge that the obvious conflict would smack me in the face and say, ‘here I am! I’m your plot! Right here!”
Obviously this was a very silly hope. I knew NaNo was going to be harder this year than last (when I only made it to 43k, anyhow) because my idea wasn’t as solid and I wasn’t going to have constant contact with Mitu and my ex to engage my competitive spirit. And I don’t get to sit next to Mitu furiously typing and exchanging bizarre questions about the vocal capabilities of heavenly swans until November 23, which is just too far away.
Mitu, come here, I need you to make the writer’s block go away!
But man, I was not expecting to get bored with my own characters after only three days. Sigh. The plot is still hiding from me. I know it has something to do with telepaths–if you read my blurb, that’s why my protagonist finds herself exiled from Earth–but I don’t know what, exactly.
The other problem is that I find the whole idea of telepaths very…trite. Which is strange, because I’ve read a lot of sci fi with some form of telepathy (Grimspace, Stardoc, Enchantress from the Stars, Gabriel’s Ghost, anything in the Liaden Universe…) and enjoyed it very much. I suppose that is part of the problem; I’m well aware that telepathy is a classic sci fi trope. That doesn’t mean I can’t use it–many tropes can be quite enjoyable if done well, or done in a new and creative way–but it does make me wary.
On the other hand, telepathy seems like the kind of thing that would appeal to the Twilight set (ack, yuck, ptooie!) who are part of my intended audience (I’m so ashamed).
So I have to go with the telepathy. But I’ve been very resistant to it thus far, and I don’t see Cat as being a very strong telepath. There are several reasons for this–one, she’s just not; two, it would give her access to more knowledge than I want her to have; three, it makes it harder for the reader to identify with her. Cat is far from ordinary, but if she becomes too extraordinary for the reader to put her/himself in Cat’s shoes, or even to feel like she is their friend.
The idea I’m toying with thus far is that Cat is a weak telepath. She can sometimes make contact with minds similar to hers–minds which, for whatever reason, broadcast on close to the same wavelength. So she has better luck with people who are closely related to her by blood, or with random individuals who happen to ‘match’ her well. (One of whom will probably be the love interest, because duh. Also, if it works for Jax/March and Miri/Val Con, it works for Cat/NamelessAttractiveTeenageBoy.)
Honestly, I just don’t see telepathy affecting Cat that much. She’d rather ignore it, being an Earther, and for the most part she can because her abilities are so low-level that she doesn’t even really have to bother with mental shields in a crowd.
Which could lead to conflict eventually–she’s been ignoring her abilities as much as possible, but they do get stronger as she ages, and eventually she has to deal with them. But that doesn’t give me a lot to work with in the meantime…
Eff it all, I’m going to watch B5 and eat ice cream and crochet. Maybe inspiration will strike mid-granny-square.