If you are like me, you have multiple projects going on with different topics and deadlines. Work, school, articles, personal things, and whatever else is sitting in the wheelhouse attributed for writing.
My biggest writing issue is switching gears between all these mindsets, since each one requires a different set of skills and thought channels to do right. For example, a paper for college requires research, citation, detailed language, multiple forms of editing, and proper formatting in the required APA template. Work uses a different thought process since it isn’t as research intensive, however, since more viewers will read it and follow the instructions for installing or troubleshooting issues, the writing requires brevity and other people’s advice.
Nano writing takes all of it and throws it out the window. All the things one typically does when writing normal articles, put it aside and put words on a page, in any order – usually whatever comes out of your fingers – and shoots for pure word count. Almost like trying to write drunk. Not that I’m condoning writing drunk, but by all means, if it stops the heckler from telling me I suck and the editor from trying to stop the words from appearing in Scrivener – sign me up.
Since we’re starting week two of nanowrimo, this is where strange things pop up in the plot and character development. Giant reveals which were going to surprise the reader aren’t all that special. Some characters don’t work in certain situations. Holes appear where there weren’t holes before and since the story is moving forward, you as a writer, see them clearer since the story is taking shape.
Whatever you do, keep going. Don’t edit anything. Even if you’re close or over the goal you set for nano – just don’t stop writing. Finish the first draft first. All of it. Make a note in brackets [like this] so you can go back and easily find them by searching for brackets if you have to make a note, but don’t go back yet.
If something stumps you altogether, make a line in your document, and write another scene alternating what else may happen where the story stalls. Instead of “taking the body through the mountains where the police won’t look for them,” make the line on the page and start with “taking the body to the police station since we can use the lie detector to find out if [Sam] is lying.” Change it up and switch the flow of the plot. Don’t cut anything – ever – especially in first draft, and keep writing. Multiple scenes will help out and give you options for a thicker plot line later.
Making the plot thicker by adding elements to the story makes a stronger story. And please, keep going, and just do it like a famous shoe I won’t mention.
You can do this, even if you think you can’t.
Let me know if you need help, and I’ll help out any time.