NaNoWriMo, Week Two.

Wrimos assemble!

It’s week two, the week in which things sometimes start to get hard.

You’ve set the scene. You’ve built the world. You’ve introduced your characters. The love interests have met or the adversaries have had a stand off or the alien and the astronaut have become friends or the guy randomly turned into a dragon and doesn’t know why/how.

You laid the groundwork for your novel, probably in the first few days of NaNoWriMo, and then maybe you skipped to writing the fun scenes—the kissing and the flirting and the fighting and the magic.

And you thought, “That was so much fun! Writing is great!”

And now, in week two, you’re looking at your manuscript and thinking, “Writing is the worst. I have no more words. THERE ARE NO MORE WORDS.”

That’s where you’re wrong, my friend.

You need secondary characters who are three dimensional. Often, it’s the secondary characters who give the project its true heart and humor.

You need a B-plot because your awesome three dimensional secondary characters need something to do.

Like a side job. Or a community service project. Or playing bass in a dragon band. Or hanging out at a dive bar. Or actually diving. Something. Anything.

You need to write the transitional scenes that lead up to the flirting and the kissing and the fighting and the magic. They may seem boring, but they are important.

If it helps you to think of your manuscript as a mountain, you can do that. So, these transitional scenes would be the rising and falling action, according to writing mountain.

If you get super stuck, I find that describing things is helpful, both as a way to hit your word count and as a writing exercise. Describe the paint color on the walls and the wood grain on the floor and the smell in the air. Describe the clothes. Describe the sounds. Put yourself where your character is and once you’ve described it all, figure out how they’d react to their surroundings.

And if you think that’s stupid, do it anyway and then when you revise, you can delete all of that.

Another thing I’ve done is write the most awkward scene possible. It takes a surprising amount of words to make a scene awkward, and it’s actually kind of fun to put your characters through the ringer.

But, the main thing is that you need to keep writing.

Don’t give up.

Don’t throw in the towel.

Don’t stop. (Get it, get it.)

Because you’ve got this. Yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, there are going to be days when you are driving the struggle bus. Yes, there will be times that you want to slam your head against your desk because you just wrote the worst scene ever ever ever. Yes, you will have moments when you think, “I’m the worst writer in the world,” and “This book is awful” and “No one will ever read this pile of shit.”

None of that is true. So forcefully tell your Inner Critic/Inner Editor/Inner Asshole exactly where they can go.

And then keep writing. Keep going. Keep on keepin’ on.

And remember that no one can write your book but you.

Happy Week 2!

3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, Week Two.

  1. That’s an intense figure skating pose. Like the post. I’m trucking through NaNoWriMo also, posting a little excerpt daily. Thanks for the shot in the arm. 🙂

  2. Great advice for fleshing out the secondary characters and adding transitional scenes. That’s something I hadn’t thought of when I was mentally preparing for NaNo. But a book isn’t necessarily made of a chain of huge scenes. When I was writing a long scene earlier this week, a thought popped into my head: Why not split up the scene by showing other characters? It’s definitely good to think of the story from different perspectives, give those other characters a chance to speak. Thanks for this post!

  3. Thanks for posting your tips for story building and word count expanding. It’s nice to see someone being positive and offering help for the Wrimos who are starting to get discouraged. Keep up the great work!

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