Word Count: 1,185
Yesterday was a bad writing day. It’s the same thing that happened last year, and I’m beginning to wonder if this is going to be a key thing in my NaNoWriMo process. Whether or not it’s going to become a regular thing, it’s helped me both times.
So here’s what happened: the stress of really permanently establishing the writing style, perspective, structure, etc of the book made me freak out. I was thinking about how much I hated the story and how this wasn’t going to work out because I didn’t plan enough, and maybe some of you have experienced this, too. The same thing happened last year when I didn’t know how to rewrite and start a new version of a story I’d already started a year before and scrapped. In fact, Holding My Breath is completely different now that it was when I first got the idea just because of this.
(I’m pretty sure I made an entire blog about it, too)
Then, this morning when I woke up, I realized everything very clearly. I didn’t hate the story that I was telling. I wasn’t stuck. I was just telling it in the wrong way. Instead of spending the rest of this month trying to write this book the way I struggled with it yesterday, I’m starting over the way I think it should be told.
Here’s what I’m planning to do:
Today, I won’t write. Instead, I’m going to fix my outline, fix some plot points that didn’t feel right, and edit what I wrote yesterday a little to fit this new version of the book.
Yesterday I tried to write the story in third-person. HUGE MISTAKE. I’ve written in third-person for Deception and Looking For Lily and this was good for those stories. However, this one is emotional, or at least I think it will be, and for me to actually get into the minds of these characters, I’m switching to the first-person perspective.
I really like the opening to my book so far, though. In fact, I’m really excited about it! This is good for me since it’s going to get me to keep going with the idea and not give up on it. It’s the parts that I wrote after this first scene that I don’t like. For me, it’s way too impersonal and fake and I obviously have no idea what I’m talking about in it… Yeah, so I’ve deleted a lot of it. Now I only have a little over 1,000 words, but I’m way happier with how this is going to go.
My challenge for you is to take a long look at what you’ve written so far. Now that you, like me, have gotten a taste of how this book is going to go, what do you like about it? What do you really not like? Is there something you can change going forward (like character perspective, a huge plot point, the structure) that would help you to write a better story? Is there a change that will make you get into the story better? Something to keep you from having to rewrite it later? Write what you like about it, but don’t force yourself to write in a way that doesn’t make you happy, that makes you dread writing every day.
I encourage you to take today to plan, not write. So what if you get behind on your word count? Trust me and everyone I’ve talked to about this issue when I say there will be days where you get into it and double the amount that you needed to write for that day. You’ll make it up. It’s only day two–don’t start worrying about your word count just yet!
For me, this little freaking-out-period is beneficial because it helped me go into NaNoWriMo with a better mindset, knowing exactly what changes I need to make to the story in order to enjoy writing it, rather than forcing myself to write.
Remember, too, that this whole month is just about getting the words onto paper, however awful they may be. You can always edit later.
And don’t think about what other people will be reading when you write because odds are, you’ll change it along the way. Nobody has to read it until you are ready to share. Nobody has to read it at all, either, if you are just writing this for you! Right now, write for yourself.
Good luck! Thanks for reading and don’t stop writing!