I thought my novel for NaNoWriMo was drowning in the sea of writer’s block and floundering plot…I nearly gave up. I was 5,000 words behind my target, and I had to make that gap up in addition to keeping up the minimum word gount of 1,667 words per day in order to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month. I get frustrated when a plot takes forever to go anywhere, and my biggest sin with any story I write is that I hurry it along because I am impatient with it.
I had read a message yesterday after my prior post that lifted my spirits. It was from someone who read my NaNoWriMo blog, and read this one as well. She told me that my story has the potential to be amazing, and that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing…writing now, editing and fine tuning later. I responded that I had hit a wall…my writer’s block had effectively stopped my story in its tracks. She replied back that when the wall drops, keep writing anyways.
“Keep writing through that block, even if you personally think it’s stupid. November is to get the rough draft and tentative plot all laid out. I enjoy reading your story, and even though you complained that you felt your arrangement ‘gave key plot elements away too soon’, you can fix that in post writing editing. I would miss the tale of the Sleeper Queen if you didn’t finish it. I enjoy reading it, even in its rough, un-final form. Please don’t give up. Even if you don’t hit 50,000 words by the end of November, you still owe it to your characters to see this through. I will read loyally, and offer you encouragement when you start to give up. And someday I will hopefully see this story on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, and I’ll want you to sign it for me. Keep on going, Merry, you’ve got the start of something awesome here.”
I don’t know this girl from Adam, or even if she was being sincere, but her message was the kick in the ass I needed. I never have faith in myself when it comes to what I create. I always hurry the plot, so of course I’m going to think this one is going nowhere. I always underdevelop my characters and have awkward conversations. Seriously. How often can you say “He said, she replied, he hissed, she spat, he exclaimed, she cried, he yelled” etc so on and so forth? Writing character conversations makes me feel awkward. And yet at times The Sleeper Queen has been very conversationally-driven. I need to add description in certain spots. I need to be better at describing the people and scenery that inhabit my tale. So today, I did what I never thought I would do…I wrote through the writer’s block, and was suddenly hit by a wave of ‘creative diarrhea’ that brought my words posted count for the day to 2300, and my word count for my novel to nearly 8000. And I will be writing another lengthy chapter tonight before midnight, which will hopefully bring my total word count as of Day 8 to 11,000 and put me back on track, right where I need to be to hit my goal.
Thank you, Jennifer. I’m so glad you’re my NaNo buddy.
Now if only I could keep up with this blog for NaBloPoMo too…