I should be working on my NaNoWriMo book right now. Really I should. I’m halfway through November, and I’m just over 20,000 words into my goal of a 50,000 word novel. So why am I writing a blog post instead?
Because I want to.
I’m halfway through my first draft of this book. So far the going has been a bit rocky, but I’ve pushed through. After all, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. But I haven’t been loving what I’m writing. The story is getting much darker than I had intended, and it’s just not as fun of a book as I had initially set out to create. The subject matter may have something to do with it – zombie apocalypse…not exactly heartwarming stuff. But the thing that’s really getting me is that the characters just aren’t as fun as I want them to be. They’re in a tough situation, and instead of being extraordinary in some way, they’re living out fears that I would live out if my entire city got overrun by the living dead. Of course, that also means that it becomes zombie hunting season, and dammit, that could be a lot of fun.
Sometimes a story starts to lose steam. Things just don’t click with it like they used to. Sometimes you feel like you’ve written yourself into a dead-end. It happens. It happens A LOT. One way to get around it is to jump ahead. I was only one chapter into my first book when I sighed and thought, “Ugh, I don’t want to write intros anymore. I want to write something FUN!”
So I did. I wrote a scene that just came to me. A main character running through the woods while some large creature chased him. The scene was thrilling to write. It flowed out in one sitting, and when I was done with it I smiled and thought, “Damn, that was fun. Too bad it doesn’t fit in the book I’m writing.”
Then I went back to chapter 1. I was reinvigorated – I had a success in another scene and now I could use that momentum to carry me through the first part of the book. Sure enough, that single scene that sat out in the middle of nowhere, an orphan of a chapter, helped me find the voice of my book. And then a crazy thing happened.
The fun chapter I wrote slid right into the story. In fact, it became a turning point of the entire book.
Go write. Write without editing. But when you find yourself becoming sluggish, write what you want to write.
Okay, time to get back to the story.