During November, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, when you are neck-deep in characters that aren’t listening, a plot that won’t cooperate, and you just feel like throwing in the towel cause there is just no way you are going to make it to 50,000 this year. You tell yourself that you can do it next year, you just need to be more prepared.
And maybe you can’t make it, maybe you should give up now and spare yourself the disappointment. But that doesn’t mean you quit This is Nanowrimo, and quitting isn’t an option!
I just hit 26,000 today, having had a week where I haven’t really gotten that much written. I wrote a little over 4000 of those words today, and during that time my plot went and changed a little on me, which means I’ve had to change how we go from here as well. And that’s ok, because I like this way better.
That’ll happen a lot during Nanowrimo, things changing, characters acting up on you, and random events suddenly taking center stage. When it does, don’t worry about it. Just go with it. Let it happen, you brain will be happier for it. Or, change it back, just don’t delete anything. Not yet, not as long as the calendar sill says November.
A lot of people struggle to get past the second week. I’ve been there before. Given up there before, back in 2007. I was at 18,000 words and counting, and I ran out of plot, and I ran out of steam. It would be another three years until I won for the first time, and since then, I’ve never lost. I know I’ll make it to 50,000 this year, the question for me is when do I make it, and how much of my story remains when I do.
My goal this year is to not only hit 50,000 words, but also to finish the story. I’ve never done that before, most of them don’t end until they are closer to 100,000 words. This time, I want to finish it in November, no matter how long it ends up to be. My current estimate is at around 60,000, but we’ll see where the story takes me.
So if you want to give up, don’t. Instead, write 500 words. And if you still have more words in you when you get to 500, write another 500, and then another, and another. And if December comes, and you’re at 45,000 words, feeling like shit because you didn’t win, remember this. You just wrote 45,000 words in 30 days. That’s a lot! Maybe you didn’t make it to 50,000, but you still accomplished something amazing.
So keep writing, and see where you story takes you. And if your story is done, boring, or just so horrible you hate it to bits, write the following, and go from there: At the same time, somewhere else…