Description is one of the hardest things in writing. You don’t want to be too longwinded, but you also want the reader to clearly be able to see the surroundings. You also want them to smell, feel, and taste whatever you’re talking about. Try to focus on a small feature of one of your scenes, like a bunch of grapes, and practice describing it in different ways. Bonus points if you turn the object into a Chekhov’s gun!
I’m not going to lie–I’m looking forward to taking a break from the daily writing. I’m the sort of person that spends the 11, not November, months looking forward to my annual NaNo, and then November wishing that I hadn’t signed up for such a big committment.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it, it’s just a lot of work. So if, like me, you’re feeling a bit burned out, then that’s okay. Writing is hard.
Was that death?
Dr Frost says yes.
I say I need proof.
Dr Frost says trust my memories—they are proof.
The sound of the gunshot, again and again and again. Is that proof?
Another excerpt from my novel! Today, think about how you write–what style do you use? A fun activity to try is to change your style based on what’s happening in the scene. Use shorter sentences to convey fast, choppy scenes. Try repetition or simpler words if your character is struggling to think. Try longer, descriptive language if your character is thinking or studying something.
Even the most everyday things contain beauty. And by now, our characters are neck-deep in plot devices designed to hurt them. Today, let’s try some good ol’ juxtaposition. Can you find beauty amidst the terror?
Today, we reach 30,000 words. Every year, thirty thousand is the point where I stop and go “wow”. Regardless of the quality of the words, or how likely I am to ever want to turn them into a finished work, there’s certainly an awful lot of them.
Week three can be many things. It can be a sudden struggle as you run out of things to write about, or things can ‘click’ and you suddenly realise you know how to weave your plot together. It’s day 18, and I feel like I know my main character. She probably has a few surprises still tucked away, but it’s at a point where I can start to make more educated plot decisions knowing how she will react to them. I’ve made it over the bump of feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing or where things are going. I may not have a better idea, but I’m in it for the journey now, because I know my character will not disappoint.
Think about the relationship between you and your writing. Who is pulling who along? Is your character following your orders or taking you on unexpected journeys? Remember there are no right or wrong answers–you’re creating something and that’s magical.
A physical journey across the map? A character’s spiritual journey, or redemption arc? The quick-paced traveling of the plot? Or is it simply a person, showing up on your MC’s doorstep with a suitcase and a globe?