Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I have issues, NaNo!

OK, so my story is having Growing Pains and my time frame Isn’t Working. My research is Useful but not Complete. My structure is Lame and my first plot point is Puny. I’ve rearranged my chapters Twice, which made scenes work Better Together, but made me Totally Confused again about my Story.  But, I’ll probably do it again Tomorrow. So, tonight I totally agree with Bill the Cat – AAACK!

Or in other words, AAACK – My Complete Story isn’t working. It’s having Growing Pains of the Totally Lame and Puny kind. I’m twice as Confused as Bill the Cat.  Here’s hoping I’m Together better Tomorrow. Where is that WINE???


  1. W.I.N.O.S. Alert!! W.I.N.O.S. Alert!!

    I saw this last night right before I went to bed, but was too tired to respond.

    First, the fact that you've rearranged your chapters twice already suggests that you are going back, rereading, AND EDITING. All that rearranging and plot hole filling can come later. And research -- filling in the details can happen later.

    Remember these three points -- I still think they are valid.
    • The real talent is in the rewrite.
    • You can’t do everything in every draft.
    • There’s a story first that needs to come out.

    Concentrate on telling your story, no matter how jumbled it might come out -- you can make it cohesive in draft 2, or 3, or 7.

    And keep writing. I alternate between thinking I have a real story that other people could get into reading, and thinking that I should power wash the front lawn or something instead of writing. I think it's normal -- if anything about making this stuff up and writing it down passes for normal. :)

  2. I agree with everything Natasha said and I would add this: you're right on schedule!! You've hit the Week 2 - 3 Slump. Last year, around week 2, I completely got bored with my story, felt it was going nowhere and thought my characters were paper thin. The fact that this almost always happens, was confirmed by articles I received in my email from NaNoWriMo central.

    And guess what? I feel the same this year! But now, since I've been through it, I know it's normal and I just have to mid-week three, when it starts becoming enjoyable again.

    So in the meantime, keep writing! Create new characters, kill one off, make your MC do something that might change your plot, go back to some prewrting you've done during the year and see if you can use it...these are all things I used to survive the Week 2-3 slump.

    And don't forget to have a glass wine or do something reward yourself when you've completed your day's work. :-)

  3. Just remember: From a pile of excrement comes... well, sometimes a dung beetle, but then... Where the heck was I going with this, anyway?

  4. Ok,I'll calm down. This is normal then. I do go back to read where I left off just to get my head back in the story, but maybe I should just trust my outline. I'll keep plugging away. I'm so glad I have you all in my corner! THANKS!

  5. Take a deep breath! Nobody panic...okay, I'm talking to myself here too. I'm in a slump too. JUST.KEEP.WRITING.
    If you have solid, cohesive scenes you can always move them around later.
    If you're following an outline and still moving things around, I think you should log your scenes as you write. It sounds like your original outline doesn't even apply any longer. Print a blank storyfix.com beat sheet and log each scene as you write it, because 10,000 words is easy to keep up with, but once you have 20,000 or more you can get lost in your own story. Log what you're writing as you write.
    Also, there is no law that says you have to follow your original outline. If you've come up with better ideas as you write, go with it. Your characters can--and will take over your story and go their own way. You need to trust that and let them have their way. I know, it sounds silly but it's true. :) Relax, take a breath, and have a glass of your fabulous wine.

  6. I can SO identify with how you're feeling. Since November 1st, I've been on an emotional roller coaster ride. Overall, I'm better recently than I was a few days ago.

    I can't add a thing to what's been said already. I'll repeat a few things instead. Know that you're not alone in your struggles and doubts. Remember that you're not striving for anything absolutely terrific when you're done. I'm considering this year's challenge to be an experiment in writing.

    While I'm writing my novel, I doubt the quality of my work. When I occasionally reread some of what I've written, I'm usually pleasantly surprised to find it's better than I had expected.

    Try to make it fun. I wish I could see my project in that light but it hasn't been what I consider as fun this year. I seldom read mysteries and that's what I'm writing this year. Could that be my problem? :)))

    Lon's liking it so I'll take that as a good reason to keep on going.

  7. Thanks Dayner and Shaddy - I appreciate the pep talk. I have to keep on keeping on. I printed off the blank beat sheet and I'll see if I can make that work for me. It's in a little different format than my outline, which I am still trying to use somewhat. Wine always helps!

  8. In case you didn't buy the NaNo book for yourself, I quote: "Week Two hurts so bad because you're making huge strides in your book.....The answers will come. Just keep at it & before you know it, Week Two will be a distant memory."

    If you did get the book, (didn't I suggest that at some point?) go straight to page 123 & read the box about Avoiding The Demon Plague of Self-Editing. "Don't get it right, get it written!"

    Hang in there, Sunshine! You are doing fine!!

  9. Thanks Sandra! I didn't get the book, so I'll take your word for it. I am plugging along and Getting It Written! I'm keeping to my target. Today starts another week. I've got some new ideas that I'm incorporating, so have more story to write (thank goodness)!

  10. I've been told that I have issues as well, and I guess they have nothing to do with NaNo. :>)