The week three slump!
How to keep going when all you want to do is quit.
So, you’ve got stuck and don’t know how to keep going to the end? Well, if you’ve come this far you better keep going. You can make it. Unless this is your first NaNoWriMo ever and you just decided to become a writer, you’ve heard that the first draft will be awful and that it’s normal. And it is, so don’t worry about how it looks or sounds at this moment. Channel your inner JK Rowling and write down all the things that you probably never will put in your book.
Just keep writing…
To help you with that I’m going to give you some writing prompts, I’m nice like that. And with some I mean a lot…
Describe what everyone is wearing. Yes, I mean it. Every boring detail about what your characters are wearing. This is a good way to learn to know them in detail. Would they wear plaid? Or are they a leather kind of person? Be adventurous and experiment on what they might like.
Your main character is really, really hungry. What does he or she eat? Anyone a vegan or is meat on top of the list of things to eat? How is the food prepared? Test them, throw in sushi and see if they like it or hate it? Do they prefer to eat organic and home grown?
That weird thing that you heard about from a friend last week — about the dog, or the appliance repair man or that puff piece on the evening news — put it in your story. Anything goes in this department.
Put your main character in a car accident. How do they react to something they can’t control? Do they panic, or do they take charge and help out?
The weather goes crazy. Another thing they can’t control. Flooding’s, tornados, landslides, throw in an earthquake to top things of. Do you have a fear of natural hazards? Give it to your characters and see how they deal with it. Very therapeutic…
Put your character in an actual emergency. Do they survive unharmed or do they get severely injured?
What does your character have in his/her pocket, purse or glove compartment? This is the perfect way, again, to find out who your character is. A prepper, a hoarder, or someone who only have the necessary things?
The paranormal sneaks in. Does this fit in to your story? Do they believe in the paranormal? Does it freak them out?
What would Napoleon do? This one could be fun! Put yourself in a famous person’s shoes, what would they do? How would Napoleon react to today’s life?
Go backstory. Why are the character doing what she’s doing? Why does he have a scar on his thigh, is it a childhood trauma or is he a veteran?
Cupid strikes! What happens if one of them fall in love? Is it welcomed or is it unwanted? Does he or she like to be in love?
And if you really get stuck, ask Twitter. This one is one of Katharine’s favorite things, which you might know if you’ve been reading her blog posts from last year. Put the questions out on twitter and enjoy the answers you’ll get from your followers.
Take a walk and choose any three things or people you see to write about. Walking lets you think of the things you need to solve without sitting in front of a screen or notebook.
And then, hit the showers. Many famous people have got great ideas in the shower. There is something about feeling the water washing everything away leaving you to start fresh.
Finally, set your timer. Go small. This is the 10 minute novelist after all so you know what to do. 10 minutes at the time and you’ll get the words out. Depending on your writing speed you can get between 250 and 350 words down. That is one page at least.
I hope this have helped you to get going on your story and that you will get to pass the winning circle and see the numbers go up to 50 000. My NaNo is under control, I won a couple of days ago and now I just write because it’s fun. Still writing on the story I started this month, since it’s not finished, but it also gives me the opportunity to start outlining something I found in my drawer. It was a small unfinished outline that I didn’t remember that I’ve made, but I like where it can go. So next year on 365Club, which I’m doing again, I’ll be writing on what I hope will be a series of three books. It surely has the potential to be a three-book series, if I’m lucky it will give me the chance to win NaNo next year as well.
Sonja Fröjdendal is an author who can’t make up her mind on which genre to write in. Ever since she forced her mom to teach her to read, books by Astrid Lindgren was the ignition for her dream to be a writer. Inspiration comes from everywhere and in any shapes or forms.
Sonja lives in Sweden, her first publication was a self-published poetry book on Amazon back in 2013. Since then she’s had four novels published in four anthologies, none in the same genre. She can be found on her author page on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkdIn, Google+, Twitter, or Instagram.