Everything I’ve read on the NaNoWriMo site has said that week two is killer. To quote Chris Baty, NaNo founder, “Week Two tends to be when the novelty of NaNoWriMo wears off, and the difficulties of making so many tough decisions in such a short time period add up. Enthusiasm dwindles, fatigue rises, and we begin squinting at our manuscripts, thinking, ‘This derivative pile of crap is my literary statement to the world?’”
In his latest pep talk, he encourages us to use week two to work on the plot of our story. Supposedly week one was all about character development and we need to now move those characters forward.
That’s not quite my problem, sitting right below 20,000 words. I am feeling more fatigued than my week one “I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m going to do it” high, and the decisions I’m making for my characters are definitely getting harder to make. My mind goes blank.
However, it’s not for a lack of plot. In my day job, and the past four-and-a-half years of it, I’ve mastered the art of tight, condensed writing. I can tell you about any Twin Cities attraction in less than 15 words, and you’ll leave feeling satisfied. So, here I sit at just under 20,000 words with a plot. Things have happened. Lots of things. There’s been a break in, a beating, a love story and a whole bunch of other stuff. So, in my learned practice of writing quick and to the point, my fear remains: I’ll finish it before 50,000 words.
I can see where the problem started. I had this idea for a young adult novel in my head and I just typed and typed to get it out of my head and down on paper as fast as possible. In doing so, I’m afraid I spent too little time on my main characters: what they look like, what drives them in the end, what they think about (at least more of what they think about). So what do I do now? The goal of NaNo is to just write. You aren’t supposed to go back and reread stuff - just get it out. Editing is for December. However, if I could go back and flesh out these kids a little better, maybe my story, and my word count, would benefit? I know in the end, how I go about getting to 50,000 words – honestly – is up to me. But those are my week two struggles.
For me to stay on track, I need to hit 25,000 words by Saturday. Here’s hoping!