The Panic Jar

One of the things I've instituted for Brighton (and Hove actually) NaNoWriMo this year is the Panic Jar. At meetings, the writers put plot inspirations into the jar and when anybody gets stuck, I take one out. So far only one inspiration has been used 'One of the characters loses something valuable. Where has it gone? Who could have taken it and why?' I'm glad the group seems to be getting on pretty well without panic, but the jar has taken on an alternative purpose for me.

While I meant it only as a bit of fun, I've realised that if I create my own jar, for all those stray thoughts and seemingly unlinked bits of characterisation and observation that arise around any main plotline of a novel, I won't have to keep them in my head until I want them for the narrative. It seems to be working ...

NaNo word count 27063

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