Writing Fear Free

Writing Fear Free: NaNoWriMo Week 2

Writing is full of ups and downs, and more than likely, you’ve already experienced a little of both during the first week of NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, you may experience more downs than ups this week. But take heart! It’s all worth it in the end.

As you begin this week, you’ll likely be focusing on your novel’s rising action. Last week, you introduced your characters, setting, and the problem they’ll be dealing with. Now, things get worse. Much worse.

Take your beloved main character and put her through the wringer. By the time you get done with her this week, she should be hanging onto sanity by a thread.

And it’s perfect timing too because you are also probably hanging onto sanity by a thread. The luster may have worn off this NaNoWriMo thing, and you are probably feeling the pull of the non-writing world: family, work, sleep, food. You’ll be feeling frustrated if the words aren’t pouring out the way they were last week. So take it out on your character. Vent your frustration. Use it. It’ll be fun!

Week 2 Problem Zones and Potential Resolutions
  • Your inner editor shows up to point out everything you are doing wrong and reminds you that your book isn’t going to win a Pulitzer. Well, duh! Cattle prod your inner editor back into her cage and remind her that you are writing to please yourself, and you’ll worry about the Pulitzer committee during the editing phase if you so choose.
  • Believe it or not, the biggest temptation of this week will be writing what you hate to read. That does not seem to make sense. Why would anyone write what they hate to read? Well, usually what you hate to read is considered “good for you.” You know the kinds of books I’m talking about. Avoid this at all costs; otherwise, you’ll quickly lose interest in your writing. If you find yourself faced with this temptation, stop and make two lists: stuff I love to read and stuff I hate to read. Chris Baty’s book calls this the Magna Carta and the Evil Magna Carta. Here’s an example of my personal preferences:
Stuff I Love to Read
True love
Happy endings
Unexpected plot twists
Quirky characters
Stuff I Hate to Read
Evil genius super villains
Fruity language
Unhappy endings
City settings
Heavy morality
Floods that wipe out the whole town
Those are snippets from my lists. Write your own and refer to them as you write this week and remember to write what you love, not what you hate!

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