Hurry Up and Write

So I had originally wanted to start a series on creating fictional languages today, but… Between Camp NaNo and a new job, I’m finding I have less time for my Scribbles.

Instead, I’m going to share a few insights from a habitual NaNoer.

In the past I’ve struggled to complete 50k in a month, I’ve blown through the 50k like it was nothing, and I’ve hugged that 1,667-words-a-day line like my life depended on it.

Across those various results I’ve planned, plotted, pantsed, and winged it.

Before you ask, no. There isn’t a correlation between how well/quickly I wrote and how much planning I did or didn’t do. At least, not that’s visible based on the 5 past wins I’ve got under my belt (out of 5 attempts over the last 3 years).

So if I’m not going to tell you the plan more or less, what advice could I give you? What advice hasn’t already been said by somebody, somewhere?

Honestly, I’m not going to impart anything ground-breaking.

My advice is that no matter how far behind you are, no matter how busy you are, no matter if you feel inspired or not, no matter what… You need to write.

Maybe you just can’t think of what to add to your story. You’ve been staring at a blank page, or the sentence you ended on yesterday, for hours. Your eyes are about to fall out of your head and you’ve started to sweat blood. Clearly you can’t get any writing done today. I must be crazy or delusional for telling you to “just write”.

Well, I’ll admit that maybe you can’t add anything to your story. But that doesn’t mean you should just give up and not write anything today.

Work on a little bit of word building.

Pretend your characters are being interviewed on what its like to work with each other (and you). What would they say?

Jot down what you think your characters will do after the story ends. Are they dead? What sort of afterlife do they end up in?

There are only two things you shouldn’t do. 1) Don’t just write nothing. 2) Don’t start on another project.

As long as you write something today, and as long as you stick with the same story/world/characters, then its going to be easier the next time you sit down to work on the main story. Maybe you’ll even get an idea to break past whatever point has you stumped.

Just don’t not write.

Good luck.

This gal is going to go do some more writing herself 🙂


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