Week Three of NaNoWriMo
Week Three of NaNoWriMo
It is already week three of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month challenge. How are you doing so far? Have you disciplined yourself to sitting down and writing at least once a day?
For me, I have not had trouble sitting down almost every day to write, but I am not consistent in the time I spend writing. Some days I can average thirty to forty minutes and other days I get moving on an idea and I write for a couple of hours. I think this is okay for me, as I have always worked in this manner. Have you found out what works best for you?
Are you enjoying this challenge? Are you finding a unique way to tell your story to keep you engaged to see it to the end? This is vital. If you want to finish your manuscript, you have to be interested in the plot you’re putting your characters through. (Remember, the first person you are writing this novel for is yourself. You need to be happy with it.)
I think some people get frustrated with writing because they realize they are writing a story they are too familiar with because it is the type of story they enjoy reading. Trust me when I say this is part of the process. Most everyone will write what they like to read. These stories we initially write represent the stories we fell in love with that made us interested in telling our own stories.
If you get halfway through your novel and you suddenly realize you are retelling a Harry Potter adventure or some Stephen King story, don’t panic. I say keep going, keep writing. There are a couple different ways to turn this around.
I think it is important to continue writing and get this story out of your brain. Once you realize you may be relying too much on a well-known story or character, you can start taking chances with the plot and characters, taking them into directions they did not go in the original story. I mean, a lot of stories rely on well-established tropes. Push forward. This keeps you writing and it puts you in a position be creative and change a story you love.
If your story concerns kids going to a magic school and it suddenly occurs to you that your plot resembles a much loved literary and cinema character, then maybe you drop a twist into your story and let the kids discover they are in a school run by evil witches, or some kind of other worldly creatures feeding on the magic in your character’s world. Now you are in familiar territory but moving in a different direction.
As you continue writing, you will start developing your own voice and style, and you will rely on the way other authors tell their stories less and less.
Don’t get frustrated. If you’ve never done anything more than dream about writing a bestselling novel, don’t expect to sit down and write one your first time at bat. As I’ve mentioned before, it is not until you try to write a novel that you find out that maybe you don’t want to write a novel. Maybe you realize short stories are more your speed. You have to write to find out.
Not every word you write is going to be published, but every word you write will help make you a better writer.
We’re in the home stretch. Keep going, keep writing. You got this!