It's November 15 and we are officially at the half-way point of NaNoWriMo.
If you're participating - give yourself a round of applause!
Whether you have hit the 25k mark, have exceeded it by leaps and bounds, or you're way behind. Getting to November 15 is still an accomplishment. It's the part of Kristina Horner's NaNoWriMo song where you're "at 20,000 words and I'm feeling awesome. Maybe I should make writing my career! My characters have chemistry my setting is believable. I think I'm gonna win this year."
A lot of times week two gets a bad rap from NaNoWriMo. The adrenaline is down, the excitement of week one is over, and things are starting to generally slow down. For me... this usually hits in week three which is what's coming up next.
It's because it's the middle. The dreaded middle. Even in some of the best books, the middle can be dead boring. Yes, I've hit the 25k mark and I"m moving forward. The first act (out of three) in my novel is done and I'm getting more into the meat of the story. But let's be honest - the middle is hard.
At least I think it is.
The beginning is so much fun because you're meeting the characters for the first time, learning about the world they live in, and everything is fun. Then something HUGE happens in your story and you land in the middle. The exciting beginning is done but you aren't quite ready to jump into the climax of the novel. That in-between time is rough.
My suggestions for the dreaded middle of NaNoWriMo and your novel?
Have a major plotting session with another writer.
Earlier this week I was feeling a bit stuck in my plot. I had the basic outline and I knew what was going to happen, but I knew it still needed something extra. I needed help putting pieces together. Tuesday night I went over to a friends house who had no idea what my story was and I presented my concept to him to get a fresh perspective.
This was exactly what I needed! I was excited for my project before, but now, I'm ecstatic. I can't stop thinking about my story and the characters and how I'm going to write different scenes. My plot holes aren't quite as deep as they were before and this novel can be epic.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Having other writers helping you along the way is priceless. They can give you ideas and perspectives you've never thought of before and give new life to your novel.
If you aren't really sure what's going to happen right this moment, but you know exactly how another scene later is going to go, write it now! I remember I used to be strongly against skipping around. I claimed it threw off my flow. It didn't feel right. Then, one year I did it when I was stuck, and I've never looked back.
Generally, I still try to write in order. However, there are times I just need to skip around a bit and write what inspires me.
You can fill in the gaps later. It's okay. You have permission.
Don't Give Up
Especially to those of you who feel like your word count is way behind and you'll never catch up.
Stop stressing and keep going.
The words you have on the page are wonderful! Those are words that weren't there before. That alone is something to be proud of. Also, you can always catch up. Last year, I didn't write for at least a week and a half.
Seriously. That's 10 days of ZERO words. Then, I somehow snapped out of it and wrote like a maniac for the remainder of November and still got my 50k.
Just keep going.
So, how about the rest of you? How did your week 2 go? What part of your novel are you the most excited about? What troubles have you run into this week? How can I help?