Week Three: Keep it simple
Once upon a time there were 5 WriMos all living in a house with a tree. Each WriMo wrote in a different genre, but they all knew the “Week 3” rule that simplicity is the most important ingredient for success in November. So every night they ate five meatballs, carved paper from their tree and rewrote one fairy tale to remind them to ignore the cute, fuzzy plot bunnies that kept leaping into their laps.
Miss Spitas chose to spend the evening of November 18 rewriting Jack and the Beanstalk with a modern moral arc akin to Japanese anime. The giant was a Titan who sucked Jack’s older bother, the brother who betrayed him, into his nervous system, and when Jack discovered his brother was still alive, he had to choose to risk his own life to save his brother’s, or to KILL the Titan – simultaneously killing his entangled brother, and then to run away with the gold.
Athena, the wisest of the WriMos, consulted her Smart Phone and asked the voice within how Jack might escape the land of giants by using technology. Siri answered that her artificial intelligence programming did not react well to imaginary scenarios and insisted that Athena please return to a simpler reality that required no additional research. Athena wrote Siri a new AI program while pin curling her hair for the Night of Writing Dangerously. Tomorrow she’ll return to a simpler reality. Maybe. Regardless, Athena will write with fabulous hair.
Mrs. Ivy suffered a terrible cold, drank too much Nyquil and added zombies to all the fairy tales she could imagine in her foggy brain: Jack and the Brain Stem, Rumple-kill-skin, Princess and the Pea Brain. This DID help her word count and induced much laughter in her WriMo buddies, but did not get her closer to the end of her novel. Mrs. Ivy is considering opening a farm for cute, fuzzy Zombie plot bunnies.
Admiral Dark, who always wrote extraordinarily quickly, yet held no patience for his characters to waste story time, gave Jack a light saber and a hover craft so he no longer had to laboriously climb the beanstalk. Jack, with his Yoda-like ninja skills, efficiently killed the giant and stole the gold. Next story!
Lady Morgan enjoyed historical fiction, particularly the Georgian regency era of Jane Austen. Lady Morgan could not tolerate such a plain, peasant name as Jack and renamed the story James and the Great Estate. James had to defend his lands from the invasion of women with ill-morals and large dowries until his eyes could fall on his confidant, cousin and life long friend as the woman worth more than all the gold in United Kingdom.
When all is said and done, the Giant defeated, the gold taken home, Jack triumphant (or married), all that matters is the simple story.
Week three is when plot bunnies fill your pockets – A plot bunny is a distracting plot that is really cute and fuzzy and lures you into chasing it – and your story begins to lengthen beyond control.
Beware – November 30 is approaching fast and furious and you need to write THE END. So think of your story as a fairy tale and ask your main character what he really wants. Then get to it and chop down that beanstalk!
From your loving dangerous writers
Sara, Jennie, Nita, Susan & Brad