NaNoWriMo - The Challenges of Week Two Are Here! - Dangerously Genocidal


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Friday, 7 November 2014

NaNoWriMo - The Challenges of Week Two Are Here!

Time Flies! 

The first week of NaNoWriMo is almost over, and this is usually the point where things should be easier. After all, starting is the hardest part! But when you're writing during NaNo, the trials seem to be never-ending - the whole point of a challenge that encourages you to write a book in just one month! This are looking especially difficult as you now start preparing for week two of this craziness.

Here are some of the most common walls that are suddenly flying towards you at break-neck NaNoWriMo speed - and how you could deal with them.

This is probably the most common problem. The one moment your muse can't shut up, and the next you can't find her anywhere. It's enough to drive anyone batty, and once you have to start sitting down and forcing yourself to write, things just don't feel that much 'fun' anymore. The thing to remember, though, is that if you decided to join in NaNoWriMo just for fun, then do something that inspires you to write. Join in a few word sprints - there are several channels on Twitter that run them. One of the most popular (and best in my opinion, what do you think?) is @NaNoWordSprints.

But if you're not doing it for fun, but actually doing it to help drive you to complete your novel - then screw the muse! She'll come back when she realizes you're ignoring her. Just keep on writing! It sounds simple, but I know it's not that easy. So, pick a time every day and set it aside for writing. Don't use it for anything else. As Stephen King says (I warned you that I'd be quoting him a lot!):
“Don't wait for the muse. As I've said, he's a hardheaded guy who's not susceptible to a lot of creative fluttering. This isn't the Ouija board or the spirit-world we're talking about here, but just another job like laying pipe or driving long-haul trucks. Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you're going to be every day from nine 'til noon. or seven 'til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he'll start showing up.”

Yes, this can be a problem - those of you who have experienced this knows what I'm talking about. It's when your muse is active and talking and just won't shut up - about everything other than your novel. She keeps inspiring your poems, your short stories and even when you receive a prompt perfect for your novel... she still tells you about this wonderful flash fiction you just have to write.

Unfortunately, too much muse can get you thinking, leading to...

With your muse suddenly incapable of even looking in the direction of your novel, you start to assume that your story idea is horrible, and the best thing you can do - despite the fact that your 11 000 words in - is to start over. Maybe you just need an exciting, much more creative plot to write about, and everything will be fine!

But it won't be. You'll give in this time and start your new story. Next week you'll probably be in the same boat, and again the week after. Before you know it, the month is over and you have 3 stories at 10K each. Stay focused, and later you'll find the diamond in the dung.

Also known as 'OMG-This-is-such-a-great-idea-but-my-writing-smells-like-something-that-died-in-a-sewer!'. Remember me mentioning the Diamond in the Dung hidden in your story? This is what happens if you decide to go looking for it before your story is even done. You just can't help yourself and you start editing. It probably starts small. Maybe just a paragraph.

Then a page.
Then you need to go back to the beginning to make sure everything looks as beautiful as this page.

Next thing you know your NaNoWriMo has gone out the window, and you've started NaNoEdMo - and when you're done with that you'll realize that NaNo is almost over, your story is half complete and your motivation has gone the way of the dodo.

You need to do something very difficult - take your inner editor and LOCK HIM UP. Picture a large empty safe with 10 inch door and a lock that even a super computer can't hack. The safe is buried far underground, in a shelter of some kind with nice big Star WarsTM worthy doors. and there is no exit - it's all underneath a mountain that needs the hand of it's creator - you - to open it.

And you won't. You will be writing. Right now. Go!

Finally, all of this leads to the WORST ONE OF ALL:


The curse of everyone who has something to do, the bane of a writer's existence. It's the unholy offspring of 'Ooh, that looks like fun' and 'Meh, later'. It creeps up on you, then makes you believe it's the best thing in the world. It snuggles up to you, and the next thing you know, the vampiric bastard/bitch has its teeth in your neck and is sucking the life and creativity out of you.

But if you catch him quickly, recovery is possible!

The cure for almost all of the above is to just keep writing. It can be a thousand words or it can be a hundred words. It also helps to talk with others you know who are doing NaNo as well - bounce ideas around, and take a few notes of ideas that pop up in the conversation.

Nanowrimo is a challenge, we all knew that - but isn't that why we signed up?

What do you think? Are there any other challenges you think should be included? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Haha, thank you! Let's hope that we don't face these challenges too often...


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