NaNoWriMo Week #2 – Playing Through the Pain

Here we are again, Thursday and another NaNoWriMo update! We’re a little under halfway through – and it’s going well. Things are progressing at a decent rate, ideas are flowing if only at a trickle, and things are getting done.

As of now, my story The Bright Side to the Dark Arts is at 24, 313 words out of the 50k, and I’m at 97 pages. It’s by no means close to being finished, but I think my protagonist has been established well, I think my universe is being thoroughly explained, and I’ve introduced the main villains of the story. The story is doing well, but I’ve started to hit the one thing all NaNoWriMo participants know all too well:

The brick wall.

Excitement is running thin. The great big burst of energy you had at the beginning has depleted. Your ideas are either out, or you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.
This happened to me this week. While I’m above the average word count at the moment, there are some days were I don’t write at all and that’s a problem.

Like I mentioned last week, this is really about quantity over quality. The quality control comes later, as of right now we just need to type words onto a document as fast as we can.
That doesn’t mean do whatever you can to make it good – it just means don’t try to stop and fix whatever you think has gone wrong. Go with the flow, write continuously and see where it takes you. After the event, if you still don’t like it you can make the necessary changes… just don’t let it slow you down during November.

But despite the extra effort it has started to take me to sit down and begin to write, I play through the pain. I need to finish this story, for myself, for NaNoWriMo, for the future of my writing career. Writers have one job: To write, and if I can’t do that then I’m kinda out of luck.
So I throw down words, and I come up with ideas from the top of my head, and I take the story places I didn’t think of going five minutes ago.

I give myself an amount of words, and I refuse myself sleep until I get that far. It may seem drastic, but desperate times call for despite measures, eh?
It may get harder by the day. As the hours fly by, as the days fall away, and as the weeks pass… you may grow more and more apathetic to the event.
I implore you to not let that happen. Write something brilliant. Re-find the magic that the story had a week ago. Find a way to fall back in love with your characters.
Remind yourself why you committed this in the first place. Remind yourself who you’re doing it for. And let that be the only thing that matters.

And if making actual additions to your story just isn’t working out, then get a sheet of paper, a pencil, and do some chapter plotting. Think of a couple ideas, make some plans, and see if you can turn that into some feasible later on. I know that chapter plotting and outlines can help me immensely in a down period of writing.

But one last tip… whatever you do, DON’T try to work on another story. This is the month to create one story, and immerse yourself in that world. If you try to go away from that, it’ll be even harder when you return. Let yourself be engulfed by that chosen universe, and make it as substantial and realistic as you can. It’s your world, you are the creator, so go do something great.

I’ll be back next Thursday for another update. My goal for next week? Hit 35k by the next update. If I can do that, everything will be great, and I think that it’s possible.
For more frequent updates, you can follow me at https://twitter.com/ThePlebianSheep.

Have a great day, a great week, and keep on writing!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 2:32 PM

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