Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Day Five

Just crossed the 17,000 word threshold (17,015 to be precise) and I've still got an afternoon ahead of me. (I suspect a lot of novels will be written this month by my fellow Victims Of The Economy.)

For those of you reading who haven't cracked 10,000 yet and are feeling worried, despair not--first off, what I'm writing is so pointless and aimless I'm not even trying to get much of a plot out of it and secondly, if I can crank out 17,000 words in five days, well, so can you and you still have twenty-five days left to work with.

Permit me to offer a bit of advice for those who may be reading who are new to NaNo, which occurred to me as I was driving back from from running a few errands (and doing some obligatory writing-in-a-coffeehouse while I was out in the world with my laptop.) I live along the length of a very busy road (technically a highway) that crosses Interstate 285. As I was making my way home, I found that the traffic to get onto 285 was stacked up so badly as to slow my progress to a stop-and-start crawl. I knew that once I made it past the interstate, the going would be much smoother and it was only a short distance from where I was to my doorstep.

I refused to put myself through it, though. Instead, I ducked into a shopping center, went out the back way and took a winding series of much less crowded streets to get to my destination. It probably took about as much time as it would have if I'd sat through the logjam of traffic on the straight route. But I didn't care. I was moving, I was getting somewhere and that feels a hell of a lot better than waiting for traffic to inch its way forward. (Plus, the view was much nicer, now that the leaves are starting to turn here.)

In NaNo, you must do the same. If you find your characters need to get from A to B and the way how just isn't coming to you, send them over the long way round. Just keep moving. Throw in another character, have a sudden catastrophe happen, or even write down every little detail of the journey while your subconscious continues to gnaw on what exactly is going to happen once they arrive (which is probably what's stopping you from just getting your characters there.) But don't let the traffic jam get in your way. Just keep writing and you'll find your way there.

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