“Maybe that’s why,” he says after a minute. “Maybe we’re not supposed to die for this.”
It sounds right, but it also sounds a lot like wishful thinking so—
Excerpt from this week’s #GroundhogOne efforts.
Remember how last week I said I kicked off Day One of NaNoWriMo with 1,800 words? And also how I said that it probably wasn’t going to last all month long? Spoiler alert: I was right. Due to a couple factors, including my cat biting at my ankles all the time, a blazing migraine and my inability to get out of my own damn way, I’ve fallen a bit behind on my word count. According to the NaNoWriMo number crunchers, by today, Day 9, I should be ready to hit 15,000 words.
Fun fact: I am probably not going to reach 15,000 words today.
But it’s fine. At least I’m still writing, and yesterday even, I wrote a little over 2,000 words for the first time in about five or six days. When it comes to NaNoWriMo, ANY Progress is good progress, so I’m happy. This draft of #GroundhogOne isn’t going to be the next great sci-fi novel, but it’s going to be the STARTING POINT for the next great sci-fi novel. Or, specifically, A great sci-fi novel, since there are a LOT of great sci-fi novels that to great things in different ways. There’s nothing to say that one book is the be-all-end-all of all great books. Write the book that’s great for you. No one else but you.
Wow, I said ‘great’ a lot in that last paragraph. And digressed a bit.
So, I’m really happy with the progress I made last night, but here’s the thing about the progress I made: I didn’t write in order. Well, rephrase: I skipped ahead a bit. Okay, that’s not really the right way to say it either. The way I write isn’t what I’d call linear, but I’m still writing closer to linear than usual. I’ll explain:
Now, I haven’t written the end of the book yet (which I am known to do, and yes, I do know how the story is going to end, for reasons of knowing where its sequel #OneVendetta is going to begin, and the fact that you just need to know how your story is going to end ANYWAY), but I have written scenes that take place after scenes I haven’t written yet, but they’re not that far out of order, and they all connect in relation to the plot. This way, I’ll be able to use today (and probably tomorrow’s) writing sessions to fill in the gaps between the scenes with other scenes that I may or may not have completely thought up yet.
My point in this ramble is that there’s nothing wrong with writing the easy parts first, and then filling in the blanks. Two years ago, during NaNoWriMo 2015, I wrote the scenes AROUND all the fight scenes at the end of the story, and saved those pesky fight scenes for last. You’re allowed to do that. In fact, you’re allowed to write your story any damn way you please. There is no RIGHT way to write. You just have to write a scene, and then another, and then another, and then another, and after a long eventually, you’ll have a story.
This year’s NaNoWriMo is especially challenging because I’m writing off the seat of my pants, and that makes it a bit slow-going, but it doesn’t matter how long you take. If I don’t “win” NaNoWriMo, then I’m not going to be upset. It’s NOT about winning (for more on that, take a gander at my post from the NaNoWriMo Writing Tips Countdown: Part Five: 3 Reasons Why It’s Not About Winning @NaNoWriMo).
Just remember, fellow writers, to keep writing whenever you can. Whether you’re on pace, ahead of the game, or WAY behind, don’t feel discouraged. If you keep trying, you’ll definitely get there. If you get there in November, that’s great, if you get there in December, that’s great too. And if it takes you into 2018 to finish this first hack at your novel, the fact that you finished makes it amazing, no matter when you do it.
The writing adventures continue, and I’m off to figure out new and inventive ways to kill off my characters. I’ve offed my protagonist about five times so far, with four more deaths that are yet to be written. It’s going to be awesome.
Need some resources? Don’t forget my Writing Tips page, or the NaNoWriMo Writing Tips Countdown, which starts with Part One, and the rest of it is linked below this paragraph. Need prompts? Well, I have hundreds in the Prompt Library, or the exclusive Prompt eBooks in the Shop. Don’t forget that 100 Original Writing Prompts by TFR is on sale of 99 cents, all NaNoWriMo long. Or head on over to the NaNoWriMo forums for advice and inspiration of any and all kinds.