NaNoWriMo Journal: Week 3

Week three’s starting word count: 13,518

There was supposed to be a Week 2 entry, but time slipped away from me.

Today is the halfway point of NaNoWriMo. But I can’t really celebrate, because looking at my novel and my word count, I think I may be in trouble! I’m more than 10,000 words behind and so this week will be about catching up and getting slightly ahead again!

One thing I’m learning about myself this NaNoWriMo is that I love to let my characters play. Non-writers don’t really understand that the characters writers create seem almost like living, breathing people. And as much as I like to have an idea of where I’m going, great scenes/dialogue/events come about when I just sit back and let my characters go about their lives with little or no intervention from me. While I write, I can see my perception of a character change when I let them use their own free will. Of course these is a downside to letting characters roam around freely. Characters can and will lead writers astray and the story will quickly fall apart. The key is finding a balance. (That should be the one writing rule to follow: balance, balance, balance). I can let my characters go to the park and have an intimate scene. But if the park scene is going on for 50+ pages and my characters are inspecting and analyzing the shapes of clouds, then it’s time for me to step in and take charge.

I’ve also been trying to create an analogy on how writing is similar to building a house, but I’m no engineer or carpenter, so it’s a little hard. (I know I should be writing, but I like to let my mind wander) The way I see it, the first draft is similar to the foundation of a home. Once you have the foundation, then you can add the walls, throw on some paint, decorate the interior and make the house presentable. Likewise, once you have a first draft, you can add new characters, embellish some action scenes, take away some dialogue and make your story presentable. Most people will never see the first draft, similar to the bare foundation of a home (I think…again, I’m not a carpenter) But it doesn’t matter what the first draft looks like because readers want the final copy. So if you’re doing NaNoWriMo and if you’re looking at what you’ve written and aren’t too happy with it, like I am, just remember the first draft is the key to the final draft. Without it, you’re left with a lot of pretty things, but nothing to keep it in place.

Hm…I think my analogy worked out pretty well. Go me!

Keep writing and keep creating! I know I will!


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