So I had this brilliant idea for a story. There was a girl and a rival, this little village and some monsters. I knew what the shopping centre looked like. I knew where other people lived. But I had no idea what I wanted to happen in the story. I did a little research and here are my results.
So NaNoWriMo is being a bust for me this year. I’m failing to write anything meaningful, despite all the planning I did in October. Instead of forcing myself to continue writing a story that doesn’t really interest me, I’ve had a think about how I planned in the past and I’ve come up with worksheet.
This week, it’s two-for-one on worksheets! Why? Because they’re basically the same worksheet with a different title.
This week’s worksheet concentrates on the middle of the story. Why not the beginning or the end? Well, in my experience these are the easiest parts. You know who’s involved and what you want to happen in the end. But the middle is the stinking swamp you need to traverse to get there. The middle is where all the trials begin.
Never forget this: What you write this month will not be published.
Not never, but certainly not in the form that it comes out on November 30. So with that in mind, go mad! Add in hundreds of characters to that party scene, name each of them and describe what they’re wearing, eating and drinking. And then move on and never look at them again. Or, if your scene lacks drama, snowstorm! (But my story is on a spaceship… Doesn’t matter. I said, SNOWSTORM!) You’re in control for this month. Let your inner child write your story with crayons! It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense, or if it’s unnecessary, they are all words and they all count. Every single one.
Or, for those who find it hard to turn off their inner editors… Rewrite. Rewrite the same sentence ten times if you want to. But always start a new line, never delete. And type each word by hand if you want to avoid feeling like you’re cheating. All the words count. You wrote them.
And dream sequences are awesome when you’re stuck. Literally anything can happen without affecting your plot. And look at all the lovely words.
If you really want to publish your story, you will have to draft and redraft anyway, so don’t let the first attempt zap all the fun out of the experience. Don’t be afraid of writing the impossible or the improbable or the downright loony. Have fun.