We’re nearly there.
As I’m writing this, it’s half a week before it’s posted, I’m behind, and I feel like I’ve only just scraped past the halfway point. Still technically in week 3, the end seems too close, but at the same time, I’m also looking forward to taking a break from words. I have too many essays with mid-December deadlines that I have not started and I just want it to be Christmas.
I have a semi-formed blob of a novel and I’m proud of it. It’s not really going anywhere and I have yet to have any form of extreme conflict, but I have some really fun characters. You should be proud of what you’ve created too. We’ve done this–we made something amazing, and we can’t quit now that we’re so close to the end. I’ve compiled together some writing dares, some tips, and some sugar-filled baking recipes to help us through these last five days. We can do this!!
My top ways to procrastinate tend to be hoovering or baking. Here are some of my recent sugar splurges (they’re sooooo good, easy, and a few are even mildly healthy!). Taking a break from writing can also be good to stimulate your brain, so try your hand at baking as a reward for working so hard! (Just a quick note: all these recipes call for dairy-free milk, but if you’d rather use other sorts of milk, then do so. There will not be any effect on the finished product–none whatsoever.)
- Cinnamon Rolls Oh my goodness, these things are amazing. I’ve already made this recipe three times in the last month. Each time they’ve turned out perfect. I do the same day method (who wants to wait overnight for cinnamon rolls?!?) and it only takes a few hours. Plus the time to let the dough rise is perfect for squeezing in a few writing sprints! The recipe itself is super simple with very few ingredients needed. Because I’m a uni student, I never have coconut oil– I just use margarine. Although last time I was out of that too and just used some regular old vegetable oil. You get the picture: flexible, easy cinnamon rolls of goodness that are ready fast!
- Banana Pancakes I found this recipe after deciding the sad, brown things on my counter needed to be eaten. They made some damn good pancakes, that’s for sure. Another really simple recipe–doesn’t call for eggs, so if you’re out then you can still enjoy pancakes! (surprisingly few baked things actual require eggs.) I didn’t have apple cider vinegar, so I just used regular white vinegar and it worked out fine. (I also just excluded the coconut oil. Turns out they don’t need that either.)
- Apple Upside-down Cake Bit more effort required in this recipe. But I’ve made it several times and it’s completely worth it. It’s also really pretty. I’m going to claim that this recipe is probably the healthiest on this list, especially if you use whole wheat flour. I never have applesauce lying around… I used a dollop of yoghurt, a little extra milk and just went for it. And it was incredibly yummy.
- Snickerdoodles I really really want snickerdoodles. I meant to try this recipe out, but I’m out of cream of tartar… I apologise if the recipe produces sadness. I just really wanted some, so I put it in here anyway… They look so good. Go look at the pictures. Don’t they look good?
If all this list has indicated to you is that I’m an incredibly haphazard baker who loves to eat, but not things with dairy, that’s okay because it’s all true. I also really like tea.
Week 4 Dares:
Create an alternate timeline branching from one of the key events in the story. You can just write about it, or have your MC have a dream or a vision of this timeline. How does it make them feel?
Write a scene in which inanimate objects can converse in some manner. Make it fit with your novel: is it a magical fluke? Or is someone’s mental state breaking down?
My Tips For Week 4:
By this point, there seems to be no predictability. Several people have already won, loads more are writing ridiculous numbers of words each day to catch up, and others are struggling to find more things to write about. One thing’s for sure, though: you’ve been writing every day for a month and there’s just a lot of words. I know some authors write on a daily basis all year, I’m not that sort of person. I write sporadically. Some days go well, others not so well. I love the strict writing schedule that NaNo forces upon me, but by the end of thirty days it’s a lot.
My tip for the end is just to play around with your writing. If everything’s going smoothly, then that’s great! But if you’re struggling to find content to write about, then make up some new scenes. Write one that’s specifically for you–a ‘secret scene’ if you like, that’s set in the future or the past. Or think back to the beginning of your novel, or what you wrote at the beginning of the month. How does what you’ve done now affect those? Try a re-write just for fun, not looking at the beginning scenes, and see if anything changes. You’re so close to the end, just write anything. Give yourself a break and start the beginning of a different novel, if you have to (that’s what I did last year). You owe it to yourself to pull through when you’ve already worked so hard.
But even if you don’t make that 50,000 word mark, you still tried. And as far as I’m concerned, that means you win.