Surely, many of us started with a bang, fingers striking keys the second after midnight on November 1. We've been eager, working out strategies, waking up early to get the writing in, developing some scheme to make sure we get in our 1667+ words a day.
This is about the time, however, where some of us that started strong begin to peter out. We begin to question our story, actually think about the writing instead of writing. We begin to wonder if our story is good.
At this stage, this point where we're about to hit the peak of the writing mountain and need that push to the peak, we need to remember this:
What opportunities? Well, surely not to ditch the writing altogether and call your NaNo 2012 experience a bust. Below, I present you with a few opportunities that can keep you writing . . . and ultimately winning NaNoWriMo.
- Jump in Where Inspiration Hits. A lot of us tend to write chronologically, jumping into the story at the beginning and barreling our way through to the end. If you're beginning to feel STUCK in your story, then explore other places in that story where you might go instead. Do you know how your story's going to end? Write that. Do you know what happens when a particular funny moment or conflict-filled moment might occur? Write that. The point is to keep writing. NaNo is not the place to let the inner editor or writer's block or doubt get in the way of getting words on the page. You'll have enough time after November 30 to question the writing and make the words you wrote during NaNo pretty.
- Talk with Your Main Character. If you're a writer that makes sure you get your 1667 words in every day, then take a day off (you know you can spread that day's word count over a couple of days and be fine), and spend time with your main character. Talk to the character. Ask about her/his day, how s/he's feeling with the story. Buy the main character her/his fave drink, get the lips loose, and see what secrets and stories fall out. There might be fodder from the activity or at the very least a reconnect to the character and thus the story.
- Move into a New Story. I use NaNoWriMo the way I need NaNo in my writing life. For most of the seven NaNo trips I've completed, I started and finished with one story. However, there have been times when I started NaNo with half a novel, and my goal was to complete the last 50k of that novel. Once, while halfway through NaNo, another story idea burned stronger in my mind, so I stopped story one and jumped into story two. At the end of November, I copied and pasted the "NaNo" work from story one and story two and used that to make my 50k. For me, I don't restrict myself to the idea of "a 50k novel" in 30 days. I fixate on "50k of writing" in 30 days and write the 50k I need to produce.
Shon Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, and educator. She has published both academically and creatively while also interviewing women writers on her popular blog, ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. In 2012, her second mystery, Into the Web and her short story "I Wanna Get Off Here" (in the short story collection, The Corner Cafe) were published. Her next release, Saying No to the Big O, will be published in December. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University ... and trying to find the time to WRITE.