Hanging in there for the good stuff

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So now that National Novel Writing Month is well underway, I’ve started out like gangbusters. The idea is fresh and new and has jillions of possibilities. Anything can happen. But what happens when you hit a wall? Like, in week two?

You run out of ideas on your story, what next? Well, my personal hard and fast rule is, don’t bail! If you have another idea for a story, jot it in your idea file, but as much as possible, don’t abandon ship on your original. I find that working on a story is a lot like working on a puzzle, and just because I can’t find the missing piece doesn’t mean I give up and start a new one.

A lot of times if you can distract yourself, get a drink of water, get a snack, go exercise for 20 minutes. Or 30. Give your mind a chance to mull things over and see what comes next. You would be surprised at what breaks through, if you just stick with it.

Maybe you’ve been trying to write in a linear way, holding on to a juicy scene that’s coming later in the story. Write it today and get your word count. I have a nice little book from by Maisel & Maisel called What Would Your Character Do? It’s a great treasure trove of questions that you can ask about your character that can go into their back story. Who are your characters friends? How long have they known each other? Who are your character’s enemies? What caused that relationship? Does your character have a love interest? Just lost one?

There are a lot of ways to get 50 thousand words. Sometimes I get writing prompts and use them for the story, or the antagonist. Everyone loves a good enemy. I decided to take a break and write this post to let you know that everyday won’t be easy writing. Today is one of my harder days. I get up walk around, do laundry, go to the store and come back to the page. I write a little more, look at a question or two and try find out more about them. If I don’t get anywhere, I go for a walk or exercise. Getting your blood moving really helps your thinking.

Another thing I have tried is writing a letter to your character, or writing a letter to someone as your character. Well, I cleared my head and feel ready to get back to the page. If you are doing NaNo, please feel free to look me up!

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