Wow, as I plot and plan my NANO for this year, I ran across the blog post. Hope I don’t fee the same this year.
I seriously considered not doing this post. After the week 2 experience, I wasn’t sure I wanted to relive the lessons I thought I’d learned only to have my characters decide to skip off to never never land and blaze another path to some random destination never before mentioned.
I experienced the NANO week 2 desire to bail on the 50K word on last Wednesday. However, being the Capricorn that I am, the stubborn goat decided that if my characters wanted to play, then I would just play along. Needless to say, I let them have a taste of their own medicine, and I think they may have just silently apologized to me for the years of torture and torment they’ve put me through.
At any rate, here are week 2 takeaways from NANO 2014:
1. If your characters demand to walk barefoot through a desert of glass then by all means let them. If they want to be random, let them frolic in the acid rain. If their skin melts away, they asked for it.
2. Random characters will sometimes fall out of thin air. Literally. So see where they take you. You might discover a piece of story (or history) not previously explored.
3. The word count hurdle is the least of your worries. Sometimes that little graph is your best friend. Other times it’s the annoying little mole in the whack a mole game that taunts you until you are beating the screen instead of the moles. Step away from the word count updater. Once a day is enough.
4. Cry cry and cry some more. It’s okay. Just try not to throw your computer at the wall in a fit of rage because your plot is sinking and dragging your hopes and dreams of finishing on time with it.
5. If you haven’t thrown your hands in the air and declared you are done with this then you might be one of the lucky few with people and plots who bow to your every whim and follow the strict rules you established on day one. I however don’t have that luxury (see #1 and #2) so sometimes I have to just accept what the people in my head give me and keep it moving.
6. Letting the people in my head have what they want might be the best revenge of them all. Note to characters: you want to take the lead, by all means, please do, just know, when you want to get back to the story that you established early on I will continue to stand by the wayside acting in the role you established for me – scribe. I leave all decisions on moving forward to you and your comrades. Good luck with that.
All in all, week has been the emotional roller coaster I expected it to be. You win some; you lose some. The point is to keep banging out those words no matter how much you love or hate your stories. Regardless of who is in control, you all are working for the common goal. 50 in 30. The countdown continues.