Writing Tips

To Quote a Disney Song, We’re Almost There

Halfway through NaNo (okay, more than halfway), and this is usually the part where people start to slow down or even give up completely. I spent most of the first ten days behind on NaNo, then things leveled out, and now I find myself ahead. Isn’t it lovely sometimes how things come together? And then there are things that don’t come together.

Since all us NaNo’ers should be hitting the 30k mark, it’s that time to start thinking about the endings of novels. We’ve muddled through the middle well enough (or at least, it’s out–may not be good, but it’s out), and now it’s time to construct the beginning of the end. There are so many decisions to be made! So how do you make them?

I tend to ask others for their opinions (and then systematically reject any and all ideas). What I’m really looking for here is a sounding board. I like having someone to talk to about what I’m thinking. It helps me figure out where I want to go. I know it frustrates people when I do this, but it’s my process. So if I ever ask for your ideas or opinions, I do want them, but I may reject every single one. Don’t take it personally. Your ideas are not bad. I just need you to listen to me and occasionally respond.

Another route you can take is to write out the possible directions you could go. Every decision made by a character changes the outcome, or at least how the outcome comes about. I’m struggling currently to decide when a particular event is going to occur, and when it happens will change how the novel will play out in the end.

The good thing about NaNo is that if you choose to go in one direction and then change your mind, you don’t have to delete what you wrote. Leave it in for the word count but start over from a new scene. NaNo is all about word count, not quality. Quality comes later, during the grueling editing process. So don’t worry and just keep writing!

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