Day 11: Getting stuck (Nanowrimo update)

I knew it was going to happen but I didn’t know that it was going to be on the 11th day.

This morning I was up at 4am thinking about the main character arc. The central theme. The main plot. How I can keep the reader’s attention from start to finish. It’s not easy. I don’t even know how I can sustain my attention over 50,000 words, let alone someone else’s. On the first draft, there is no way.

The reason is this. I’ve been reading and watching how-to-write articles and learnt a few tips:

  1. The first page of the novel is The Promise. This is when you give the reader a sense of what they can expect over the next hundred pages. That’s a lot of pressure!
  2. There are four, nay, five Cs to consider at every point: Curiousity, Crescendo, Coherence, Conflict and, finally, Change. I have to make sure that the novel meets all of those requirements at least one at a time but preferably two or three at a time.

33,900 words in and I got stuck. My biggest challenge yesterday was how to piece all the stories together so they were coherent. As I have decided to embark on writing a part-historical fiction, part-family saga, I don’t have one central character. That makes my job incredibly hard. So I spent most of last night and all of this morning figuring that out. By the time I was ready to write, it was already 3pm.

Sidebar: Another writer said amateur writers should broaden their definition of writing. Thinking and plotting counts as part of writing and they are just as important. It certainly took me six hours today thinking about my plot and whether it holds water. 

The good thing is that once I was clear on which direction I would take (I had three options at the outset), then the writing bit is the easy part. I did 2 x 45 minute word sprints, followed by a final write-in that got me to the end of the chapter I wanted to finish. By the time I looked at the time again, 8.30pm, I have written more than 6,000 words.

Annual flower festival in Baguio City via Google Search

So, that takes me to the final word-count badge of 40,000. I am so close to the finish I can smell the vodka 😀 but it’s just as well that I hit this milestone today. Next week, it’s going to be super-hectic at work and I don’t know how much energy I’ll have at night.

Tomorrow is the Pasko/Christmas Festival at Tumbalong Park. That means I’ll be out and about. I will try and knock over 1,600 words tomorrow morning before I start my day. That way I’ll be guilt-free.

Day Eleven: 40,120 words. #likeaboss

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