It’s day 11 and I’m about to run into my first major stumbling block.
And it’s my fault.
At least this time I’m seeing it coming a few days before it hits.
I struggled with my daily quota yesterday, barely topping 1700 words.
I haven’t brainstormed my story enough.
This is a major problem. I was writing a few scenes in chapter 3 that I came to realize should be happening a little later in the book. In the meantime I made plans to go back and beef up chapter 2. This is giving me the opportunity to put in maybe another 5000 words, maybe 7500 at the maximum.
Roughly 4 days worth of word count because I hit a wall.
I know that wall. I’m familiar with that wall. That wall is what has caused me to fail every other time in NaNoWriMo. I know every brick, I know the texture, the color, the taste and I know it’s smell.
It smells terrible, let me tell you.
Here’s what usually happens:
I usually don’t see it coming. It usually hits me one night when I’m about 500 words in for the day and boom! Uh oh. I have nowhere to go and I’m stalled, so I don’t make quota that day.
The next day, I procrastinate. I don’t write during the day. I don’t look at the text and I try and brainstorm in my head but panic is lurking so I shy away. That night, I get home and I don’t write.
The day after that, I’m faced with almost a 3 day backlog in word count. 5000 words maybe and with the lack of direction and ideas, I quail and do not write. I will read, watch a movie and go to sleep in shame.
On day 4, it’s over. I haven’t admitted it yet, so I’ll maybe put down 200 words, if any. It’s clear the battle is lost.
Here’s the problem:
It’s my fault. I didn’t prepare enough. I didn’t brainstorm enough.
I fucked up in the sense that I’m skipping over quite a bit in an effort to get the story “moving” and instead of setting a good pace, it’s setting a too quick pace and turning a rich story that should be full of intrigue and subplots into a novella that’s pretty much a dash to finish in 30K.
I don’t have a good sense of the plot in between the start and finish. The events I’m thinking of writing about seem kind of random.
I like my characters but I also don’t have a sense of their motivation. Normally this is revealed as I write, but since there’s a bit more intrigue then I’m used to, this isn’t coming out quite yet.
All of this can be put down to not having a enough details in my notes and outline before starting.
Here’s what’s GOING to happen THIS time:
The good news is, unlike previous years, it’s not too late.
I have roughly 4 more days of word count with the notes I have. I have a good start, I know where I want the story to end. It has potential.
I need to figure out what I want to happen in between. I have to answer some problematic questions which have cropped up in the few days.
What I’m going to do today is brainstorm those questions and plot. I’ll put up a separate post with what I’m thinking about. Writing about it will make things gel in my head, it always does. I always welcome suggestions of course.
By the end of the week (maybe the end of the day if all goes well) I will have a solid, written outline with detailed plot points to hit.
I’m going to find something that’s worth taking 100 thousand words to write. It’s there, I just have to get it out.
OK so I’ve just caught up on your Camp Blog, and I’m wondering if this stumbling block comes from the research or lack thereof? You mentioned a few days ago that your research will potentially change the story in some way this coming winter. I would have thought that research was either done before one started writing or was an ongoing affair.
Now I may have misread those previous entries, but I remember thinking, “Huh?? Wha- But why hasn’t he done the research already?”
Just my two cents. And don’t forget. I’m a travel agent, not a writer… 🙂
It’s a little bit from column A a little bit from column B. I don’t know that research would help my plot.
It might give me more ideas, but at this point it doesn’t quite matter if I fudge the details a bit. I mean, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t follow Celtic mythology to the letter or get the details of a Rakhasa slightly wrong. Essentially, it’s my world, my rules 🙂
The research wasn’t really done simply because research takes a long time. It’s a lot of reading and I decided to do this barely one week before Camp NaNoWriMo went live. It’s part of that whole crazy thing.
That week was enough, I thought, to get the bones of the story down and some notes and that I’d know enough of where I’m going to get through at least the first month.
I was wrong. The good news is that I have time to fix it.
Research COULD help, but it won’t be essential to do what I need to do. What I need to do is get the story straight.
Stay tuned for my brainstorming post later today. I’ll write about what I’m doing, what’s going through my head and what I’m trying to answer. Should be fun. When I do that, the answers tend to come to me as I write it out, it helps and I’m hoping it’ll give a window into what sort of problems someone can run into when writing out a story.
Good job for noticing it in time! That’s fantastic! I don’t usually notice mine in time, but what I do (i.e. my solution) is just to keep writing and see what comes up. It’s horrid for revision, but works for NaNo.
I’ve also learned that while I almost always *think* I need more ideas for plot, what I almost always need is better detail for character and setting. Especially character. I have also found that I’m really good at throwing in conflict, but that conflict isn’t always crucial to the plot and it’s almost always solved too quickly.
I look forward to reading your brainstorming post!