Throughout the month of November, I will be blogging on my progress, both as a motivation to stick with it and as a way for those unfamiliar with the event to get an idea of what the experience can be like. Also: writing craziness, random daydreams, tips, cheats, and caffeine abuse.
Ah, Week Three. This is traditionally the point in the NaNo month where I believe your Inner Editor is either dead or severely disabled. By barreling through the blasted wasteland of Week Two with the jerk dragging along behind you, the Inner Editor has been reduced to a weeping, bleeding puddle. Despite his screaming "That sentence doens't make sense! Your characters are stupid! Why are you still doing this?!" you have not lost hope, intrepid NaNo writer, and have made it to the sweet bounty of Week Three. Your tenacity has given your Inner Editor pause, if not silenced him outright.
Which means you, dear writer, are free to write whatever you'd like. Does it have to make sense? No! Does it have to be music to the ears? No! Does it have to take a logical path or even follow the narrative from start to end? No!
Don't get it right; get it written. That's all you have to do.
This is the week where it will be good enough to write something along the lines of:
Things were good when they weren't being bad. People could be really clever but then would be dumb the next second. We were afraid of doing things and afraid of not doing things. It was complicated and unless you were there you won't understand so I don't know why I'm even trying to explain it to you.
After editing, you'll look at it and say "yeah, that's not right..." and will polish it, step by step, into something more like this:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it
was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the
season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of
despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were
all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in
short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its
noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for
evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Keep writing and eventually you'll get to the sweet land known as Writing Nirvana. Your fingers type on the keyboard like a maestro playing his masterpiece. Hundreds of words pile on top of one another and except for fixing the obvious typos, you will no longer worry about if they are exactly right. It's much easier to correct a sentence than it is to write it the first time.
This might also be the part of the month where you are desperate to something, anything, other than write. You might notice a dearth of reviews on this website. Fear not, a couple are on the way, but in order to write reviews, one needs to read books. Tricky how that works. I've been going through reading withdrawal. I'll be back on the wagon soon.
NaNo Memories: A few years ago my story was set in a pseudo-imperial setting. At first it was more like a generic fantasy kingdom instead of empire, but as I wrote, I pulled in random details from both the Roman Empire as well as the British Empire, picking whatever details suited me at the moment. While writing, this freedom to use whatever details jumped into my brain allowed me to focus on the characters and their desires. Despite being somewhat inconsistent to critical eyes, some of the best (read: easiest) passages I wrote were when I focused only on the things that mattered, not the things that could be fixed later - if they even needed to be fixed. This is the only NaNo I've written which has the vaunted "the end" as the final two words.
Vague Description of My Plot Progress: After surviving a shipwreck, the protagonist is settling into her new life, including meeting someone who appears to care for her as a person instead of a political prize. However, with the arrival of a sketchy character, she is starting to realize that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I'm hoping for more progress in the next week.
Last Week's Goals: I wrote ~15k last weekend and reached 50,000 on the 17th, a new personal record. I'm still writing every day and trying to keep it up for the rest of the month.
This Week's Goals: I have a couple characters that are waiting in the wings. Some have already been introduced and then were shunted off to the wings, while a couple others have been waiting for their grand entrance. I'm not 100% certain which one needs to come back first but I would like to see at least two of them make an appearance soon.
Current Word Count: 62,000+ (This will probably be at least 120k by the time I can put "the end" on the manuscript.)
Tips for Writers and/or Wrimos: Try to not look at your screen for a while. You will make a disgusting amount of typos, but by allowing yourself to focus not on what you ARE writing but what you WANT to write, you might be able to break through self-doubt and self-editing.
Have a cup of not-really-needed coffee and get back to it!