So, you think you can write a novel in a month?
Difficult but do-able, right? With a bit of dedication, some discipline, a healthy dose of writer’s passion and lots and lots of caffeine you can overcome the beast that mocks you for actually taking on the challenge.
The first blush of an idea, the hot rush of adrenaline.I was primed and ready to wage war with words. And I jumped into the NaNoWriMo arena.
The words came pouring out. My fingers were flying on the keyboard and the wordcount meter (WCM) kept ticking at a steady pace. I was in NaNoWriMo heaven.
But then life happened. A few days away from the computer and I hit a roadblock. On getting back, I found that mymojo had disappeared and my inner warrior was no longer all pumped up and ready to do battle. Panic time!
I’m sure the scenario that I have painted above is precisely what many among you have experienced. But do not despair. It’s not the end of the world and you can pull yourself out of Word Count Hell with a bit of patience, grit and lots of coffee <insert your preferred beverage here!>
Here are a few tips for those times when your word count meter (WCM) has stopped ticking.
Think non-linear. Some writers work with an outline. Some don’t. If you’re like me, and can only think of your story in a linear fashion, i.e. x happens, then y, followed by z, try to reverse that. Why not think of m, and c or h. In other words, write the scenes that pop into your head, in no particular order. It’s most likely that once you have written one scene, it will be followed up by another, and OMG, yet another. Give the sequence (a cluster of scenes that follow in quick succession) a title and save it as a different file. You can always cut and paste that in an appropriate place in your manuscript later on.
Think conflict. Yes, that’s right and no, I don’t mean that you should go pick a fight with your spouse. If your WCM has stopped ticking, it probably has something to do with the plot or character development. Chances are the conflict in your story has petered out. Try to introduce a scene or a character that ups the stakes for your main character, put her in a tight spot, make life difficult for her. You will soon start thinking up ways of getting her out of trouble and you will be on your way again.
Think competition. A fun way to set the WCM ticking again is to compete in the write-ins and sprints that are going on round-the-clock on the Wrimo India Facebook page. Amidst all the fun and laughter, virtual cookie and chocolate sharing (and stealing!) bring out your competitive spirit. Use some of the prompts – or don’t – but jump in. It will get you out of your funk and somewhere along on the way you would have kickstarted your mojo and WCM again.
So, good luck WriMo’s and don’t let the WCM stop ticking.Now if only I could use some of my own advice! 😉 Cheerio!
Adite Banerjie is a screenwriter and a freshly minted romance author. Her debut book “The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal” was released by Harlequin Mills & Boon in September 2013. She is currently working on her second book for the same publisher. She loves to blog about writing at www.aditebanerjie.com.