It had been an exhausting experience, up to a point where I felt I had to take a break from writing.
I know, I know, it is not a very professional thing to say. Pro writers write despite what they feel. I may not be “Pro” level, but having a professional mindset to what you are doing helps get things done. However, writing, as a creative process makes use of energy and emotions that far surpasses a professional mindset for fuel and motivation. I felt spent, empty and exhausted. I had to step back and take a break.
So, I failed the writing challenge. Big deal.
However, this year’s journey has been meaningful. This year’s NANOWRIMO has been my most successful, despite its appearances.
Here are why my 2019 NANOWRIMO was the best (so far)
There are only four days left until the end of NANOWRIMO. The challenge is ending, and so is my motivation to completing a “really awesome story.”
My excitement and enthusiasm for this fantasy-adventure story I have been writing for NANOWRIMO is dangerously low. So low that it might break the habit I have built up of slowly writing in words to complete it.
I think my inner editor is slowly breaking free of his bonds. That, or he is yelling at me from the cell in which I have tossed him in.
Either way, it is eating at me and making me doubt myself.
I am at approximate 16,600 words as of writing this post, and with the month ending by next week, I doubt I will be able to make the cut.
It would be nice if I could find a way to advance the story. Now, normally, I would skip a part I do not know what to do in the story. I can assume that it may be not that necessary or probably can be resolved by a nice flashback… However, it is another story when you arrive at the potential climax of the story and realize that you are stuck.
How am I stuck? Well, let’s just say that I placed my main characters in such a dire situation, that even I, as the writer, could not potentially see a way for them to live through that said situation. I want to save them, but I can’t just do it without making use of “plot armor” or some “deus ex machina”.
Have you ever had such a situation? What did you do? Go back in the draft and “made it a bit easier”? Or did you push on with what you had?
Actually, I might have an idea now that I am typing this up. The details may not make much sense, the way I get them out of the mess I put my characters might be bordering plot armor… but I will fix that in editing.
“I will fix that in editing.” This has been my mantra for getting through with my NANOWRIMO draft this year. I am close to exceeding my story words compared to last year, but compared to last year, I lost focus and direction. That was the result of me pantsing away at a novel. It was fun, it was creative, but in the end, I got lost and dropped the project. Whoops.
Now, it’s different. It may suck, it may not be the best for now, but whether it takes me until December, or whenever, I will finish the first draft.
So, this is me, just working out a writer’s block. 😀
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I stumbled upon a great writing tip on reddit yesterday. It’s an old tip to most writers, but to novices like me, it is an eye-opener. It was a subtle reminder that what I am currently working on is a draft, and it does not matter what it looks like. You know what the tip was?
National Novel Writing Month is only days away! Make sure you’re prepared for what’s coming, so you can start this challenge strong. NaNo Checklist Schedule Reschedule non-essential tasks, events, and responsibilitiesMake sure your family, roommates, friends, etc. are aware of the challenge—the necessity for you to stay on track, and for them to give you…
As a short story writer, one of my biggest problem is how to pace a longer story. It is very tempting for me to immediately jump to the ending once I know how it will go.
For example, if I am writing an adventure story, I more often than not find myself rushing to get the story to the point where things get interesting. That would be fine for short stories that are probably in a thousand words or even less, but for novels, we got to take our time. However, if we slow things down too much, it gets boring.
I don’t write a lot of short stories. In fact, my attempts at writing short stories often is more of a recent thing.
While looking back on some of my works, I stumbled upon my last NANOWRIMO attempt, a paranormal mystery set in a very rural place entitled “The Mystery of Barangay Wiska.”
Barangay is a Filipino word which means small settlement. It’s like the component of a city or municipality.
I thought of injecting in some Filipino folklore into the story which was set in a modern era.
Re-reading the first few chapters renewed my interest for the story. I don’t even remember the direction my story went, but I vaguely remember I ran out of ideas, and I also ran out of time with the NANOWRIMO attempt. However, I got myself up to 30 chapters…
Which got me thinking… can I complete this story? While it may not be finished as a full-fledged novel, perhaps I could at least finish the story. With fresh perspective, perhaps I can, finally, save this story from Work-in-Progress purgatory… hahaha…
As of now, I don’t know what direction I will take the story. Will it be a happy ending, or a tragic one? What lessons will my main protagonist learn? How will he grow from this encounter?
I still have a lot of unanswered questions. I guess that’s why it still is a work in progress, eh?
Let me share to you a bit of the story, please let me know what you think.
Here is a brief excerpt of the two chapters I got:
I have been stuck for a while in my NANOWRIMO. I cannot properly write and describe the outfits of some characters. While they are not the major characters, nor background characters, I thought that fleshing them out by describing what they look like better could help define them a bit more.
But I am terrible with clothing. When I read novels about outfits, such as the Song of Ice and Fire books (Game of Thrones for you TV only people… 😀 ) which has detailed clothing for most characters, I often breeze through their descriptions. Now that it’s my turn to write something similar, I find myself at an obstacle.
Well, since the challenge is at a limited time, and I cannot stop for too long thinking about this, I decided to go around the detailed or more fleshed out description on clothing. Besides, they are not main characters. I’ll just give the narrator the flaw of having no idea about fashion, the same flaw that the writer has! Solved.
OK, while that is not the best solution, that is the best I can do at the limited time I have. The best solution would be to study on how to describe people’s attire. I could read up on books that has good descriptions, I could read up on tutorials and whatnot. Basically, I could learn more about this aspect of writing that I lack.
Ah, but that is for another day. For now I must catch up. The frustration that I was experiencing with my inability and lack of clothing knowledge has left me with a few days without any writing. Oh boy…
Well, I just hope this year’s NANOWRIMO will be a better output than the previous years.