“We’re going to lose the war.”
“Wars don’t have winners.”
Emmerson sighs, “You know what I mean,” she says. “I have a plan though, but it doesn’t work without you. Or-“
Excerpt from this week’s #GroundhogOne efforts (who is Emmerson? Good question), and proof that I DID actually write this week.
I’m not going to lie and say that my NaNoWriMo efforts are going swimmingly, because they’re really not. Writing is difficult, and there’s a chance I’ve gotten stuck. Oh well, shit happens. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on this story, because I’m not, but it’s going to take a little longer than I thought to get it to where I want it to be.
Going into this year’s NaNoWriMo, I knew that there was a chance something like this would happen, because this really is an ambitious project, and it’s a kind of story I’ve never tried to write before (okay, scratch that, not never, but it’s been a VERY long time and the thing that I did write that would be considered ‘similar’ is…also not similar at all. I digress).
My initial plan going into this was to write this story in order.
Let’s just say that that went out the window, but here’s why it’s a GOOD thing that it did.
What I realized this week (aka the span of time between last Thursday’s post and this one) is that there’s no reason for me NOT to write certain scenes that I’ve already thought up. There really isn’t. Why would or should I STOP myself from writing something that’s going to be in the story ANYWAY?
So, I went ahead and created a ‘Misc’ document in the Scrivener file (don’t know what Scrivener is? It’s like Word, but awesome. Use it. 10/10 would recommend) and started writing all the scenes that happen AFTER the last scene I left off on, which yes, includes the end. I’ve mentioned before in my Writing Tips posts, that knowing in advance how and where your story is going to end is critically important to finishing your story. If you don’t know how it’s supposed to end, how are you going to get TO the ending? I know most people aren’t like me and don’t know how EXACTLY it’s going to go down, but all you need is a vague idea, a vague endpoint, and drive your story in that general direction. It may change, it probably will change, but as long as you have a direction, you’ll be set.
Now, I may be about 10,000 words behind where I should be for NaNoWriMo standards, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on #GroundhogOne, even if things are getting a little crazy at work and the holidays are starting up. Like I did with the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel, I’m going to write when I have time, whenever I can. It may be a little at a time, but a little at a time is not the same as NOT writing. We can’t all sit down and bang out 5,000 words or more a day. That’s always the goal, but even for people who are full-time writers, that doesn’t happen for every.single.writing.session. Temper your expectations and understand that writing is as challenging as any other art. You’re creating a world that ONLY exists in your head. Only you can do that. It may take longer than others, but you can and will accomplish your goal as you keep working at it.
AND, as another bonus to saying ‘screw it’ to writing #GroundhogOne in order is that I now know some other things that are going to happen in the story, which I wouldn’t have figured out if I pressed on with my original plan of writing in order. There’s going to be space fights, arguments, an attempt at infiltrating a prison that’s going to go SUPER wrong, like, wronger than the other attempts at infiltrating said prison (and even as I think about this, an attempt that’s going to go SUPER WRONGER than any of the other times I’ve planned on writing. Here’s another short tangent: talk it out. Sometimes, if you get stuck, if you talk about what you’re working on, you’ll go in ways you never imagined if you just talk to someone or write it out. Try it.), and a realization about birthdays.
Remember friends, in space, no one can hear you if you never finish your book. So, don’t be like space.
Also, maybe don’t try to write your What I Wrote This Week post before the coffee’s kicked in.
The writing adventures continue, and now I need to figure out how to kill off my characters in the fun news ways that I just figured out as I was typing this post.
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.