What is your character afraid of? How will you make them face their greatest fears?
As we near the end of NaNoWriMo, I’m about to attempt my novel’s climax. It feels right to leave it to write last, once I know the best way to push my main character. To force them down to their darkest point, but still expect them to get up and fight back.
So, if you take everything from your character, who is left? Who gets back up?
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.
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?
We’re halfway through! Today we reach a colossal 25,000 words–be proud of yourself.
Fun fact, my first year of NaNo I only started writing on day 15. I was a tiny 9 year old, so I only managed 3,000 words. However, my mom completely smashed the 50k in only two weeks–pretty sure she has superpowers.
It was just a game. Breathe in, bite your tongue and keep walking as far as you can...
Use this excerpt from my own NaNo draft to inspire a scene in your own!