Friday, November 23, 2012

Get Excited

Sure, you were excited in the beginning of November. That was when you had a nice, shiny new plot, wonderful characters, and a concrete stopping point. But now all you see are the plot holes, character flaws, logic leaps, and perhaps a different ending.

Alas, changes and new discoveries along your writing journey are common for NaNo territory. Not all of your discoveries are good (NO! That doesn’t make sense now!). Even the reward you promised yourself is no longer motivating you. Though you’re close to the finish line, you’re convinced that you’ve written yourself into a corner and will never finish.

Discouragement is also common in NaNo. Alien spaceships that are supposed to save the day crash and burn instead. The weekend you were going to dedicate to writing was preempted by a trip to the emergency room for a sick family member. The medieval armor you’ve been describing was created a century after your time period. It happens. It is not the end. Mistakes can be fixed (and most are best to note and fix later, once the story is done).

Today, I want you to get excited again. No, your plot is not perfect. Your draft is not perfect. Your writing ability is not perfect. And your skill of stringing long words into coherent sentences together is far from perfect. Even without a single contraction, you’re still falling behind. It is okay.

Don’t focus on what you don’t know how to fix. Focus on what you do know. You have written a story. You have joined in a major challenge to cross the finish line by a set date. Regardless of all your roadblocks, you’ve still managed to write.

If you still need help getting excited about the story you’re becoming depressed with, head over to the NaNo forums. There is a thread in the NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul forum where people say nice things about what you’ve written. Someone else may be incredibly excited and interested about your little blurb. It will give you a much-needed warm-fuzzy feeling.

We had a talk earlier in the month about judging your body of work. You really can’t make an accurate judgement until it’s complete. Pretend for a moment that you’re writing the next best seller, plot holes and all. But before you can pitch your book to the masses, make millions, and quit your day job, you have to get excited about your book. If you aren’t excited about what you’re doing, don’t expect anyone else to be excited.

But joy is contagious. “I just wrote the most awesome, chapter, Johnnie! A spaceship crashed in the valley behind the two characters, right in the middle of my villain’s speech! I have no idea why the spaceship crashed, but the description of the explosion and the wreckage gave me at least 1000 words! My villain is now convinced the Intergalactic Policemen are looking for him, and he’s on the run! My main character got away without a scratch on him, and gained a new friend! Together they’ll chase the villain to his death. Isn’t that AWESOME?”

Now that you’re excited, go write that spaceship repair, or whatever it is you have on the agenda today. That ending won’t write itself.

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