I was toying with doing something about NaNoWriMo, and then it hit me. A perfect metaphor for the whole experience. Writing a novel is like walking a kitten on a leash.
You see, today we stopped in to the pet store with the kitten (Marvin, the Adorable) to see if we could get his shots, and left with a harness and lead.
My husband dropped me at the top of our street with kitten and went on to work. Here is where I learned how like a NaNoWriMo novel a kitten on a leash can be. First of all, they go where they want to go.
Whether you want to go there or not. Your story has a mind of its own, and pulling back against its lead just makes it obstinate. Let it wander a bit. But remember, you hold the end of the leash, and you can reel it back in if you need to.
On the other hand, sometimes, they just plop down and refuse to move. When that happens, you may have to tug on the leash a bit. Force it back into motion with a nudge in the right direction. Add a sentence that restates something from earlier in another way. Anything to get the words flowing again.
And sometimes, you have to give in, pick the kitten...er novel...up and carry it forward, holding tightly to your vision of what it needs to be, because in the end, it is too precious to give up on, and too beautiful to allow it into dangerous territory.
Okay...I may have stretched the metaphor a bit -- but isn't my baby adorable?