Does anybody really understand the magic of novel wonder? I’m convinced I don’t. Do novels work for their writers because the writer is dedicated and constantly working on the piece or is it all about the right set of circumstances?
I use to believe the latter, but now I’m convinced it’s actually a mixture of both. There has always been a part of me that stories, either read or written, have to be taken on at the appropriate time. There has to be more from the writer than believing it’s a good story to put to page. All you writers out there probably know what I mean. When it’s the right book, or the right story, at the absolute best time you have this feeling settle over you and without a doubt you know that this is the perfect path you could take in that moment.
If you aren’t dedicated, even in the best circumstances, then your story is doomed from the beginning. Just having that perfect stillness enter your entire being is not enough, you must be willing to write through the story everyday. That also doesn’t mean spending hours stacked upon hours. If you only have 30 minutes, write for those 30 minutes.
In my first year for NaNoWriMo (2013), I had the dedication, but not the story. In year 2 (2014), I had the story, but not the dedication. Last year’s attempt at participating in NaNoWriMo was one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do in my life.
I chose to work on a story that I had started up and stopped more than once respectively. By that point I had a desire to see the story finished for that very reason. I had taken this creation of this story too personally. Deciding to continue the story for NaNo gave me a fresh take on it, but even early into the challenge I began to lose interest, once again. I had lost sight of writing the story for myself and instead worked on it because I needed it to be finished. Writing that story had stopped being fun, not during NaNo, but the many years before when it had failed the first time.
If it comes time for you to sit and write your word count for the day and you find yourself dreading doing so, then it isn’t you… it may be your story. You know you want to write and you have the desire and the urge, but sometimes you can’t bring yourself to do it no matter what, then you might want to take a deeper look at why it is you are working on the story you’ve decided to write.
That’s what happened with me and the story I was trying to write for NaNo last year. Eventually, I could no longer bring myself to write the story and somewhere in the middle of the challenge I stopped writing completely.
For most of the year in 2015 I didn’t write anything. (I bet you can imagine my mood during those months?) One part of my brain kept telling me to go back and finish the story I had started and the other part was pleading for sanity. I left the project sitting on my desk to torment me.
Sometime toward the end of Summer 2015 I rounded up all the pages (hand written and printed), the notes, the journals, put all files onto a flash drive of its own, and stored all the contents in a trunk in the corner of my room. A large part of me felt better for doing that. Knowing that NaNo was just around the corner I got to work on trying out different stories that had been mulling about in my head for a long time. Towards the beginning of October I finally settled on one that gave me the strongest feeling of, “Yes. Pick me!” and began to brain storm.
My 2015 NaNoWriMo story has been a concept in my head for over a year. Just in that time of internal brain storming I had gained quite a lot of material to use when finally putting the story ideas to the page.
When November came to be I’ve had no problem writing out the story. For the first time in three years I’m not just feeling the need to write, but I’m actually wanting to write the story I have chosen. It is day 7 of the NaNoWriMo challenge and I have over 17,000 words. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of time to gain some lag in the story and put me right on track or behind, but this year along with loving the story I’m doing, I’m making more of an effort to as dedicated as I’ve never have been before.
If you have ideas that could go in the story, but aren’t sure how to connect point A to point B, then just write out that scene anyway and keep doing that method if that’s all you got. By the end of the challenge (or if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo 2015) or by the time you’re unable to procure another scene, then you can declare yourself done and hopefully, during your editing process, you can see what you hadn’t during writing and you can connect all the points together after the fact.
No matter what, fellow WriMos, don’t give up. No matter if you are bored with your story, (You can switch), if there is a lag in ideas, if nothing seems to be working, Don’t. Give. Up. Keep putting one sentence after another and if you need write the scenes as they come to you instead of trying to write them in order.
I will have an update every week for you guys. I know this was long, but I promise I’ll keep it short and brief next time. Please let me know of your experience with NaNo so far. Add me as a Buddy! Also, I give daily updates on my Twitter, so don’t be shy to stop on by. Now stop reading and go write!