The one problem with NaNoWriMo is that you can burn out. When you’re writing a minimum of 50,000 words in only 30 days you end up doing a lot of writing. This is especially true if you’re like me and don’t stop at the 50k mark and continue to write until the novel is completed. I’ve been averaging around 3,000 words a day. That’s a lot! With writing that much, it’s very easy to lose focus and burn out a little.
It’s common for me to start feeling that way around this time. I push, and I push, and I push, and eventually my brain says, “Nope!”, and I’m left wondering what to do. That happened today. I wanted to write, but it wasn’t coming. I reached a slump.
I went onto the NaNo chat site to see if maybe a word war would help, but no one was warring at the moment. After chatting about nonsense, I brought up my predicament. One of the fellows in the chat room suggested breaking off and choosing someone else in my world to write about rather than the main character; a shopkeeper, a beggar, a nobleman, anyone really, just to give my brain a fresh start. He said that it can sometimes spawn new things you never thought of, or even just expand the world a little bit. The advice he gave me beat the “write something else” I normally get. He was suggesting that I write something else, but to have it take place in the same world the story was in.
Finding this to be a neat idea, I took his advice and gave it a try. Sure enough, it worked! I wrote about a bookstore owner named Habbo, who was secretly an information dealer living in Fyld, the country next to Vastervale (the country The Priest of Tears takes place in). On a quiet night, he ended up being visited by the villain and titular character, who needed information. In the process, we learned a little more about the villain himself, how he’s getting his information, and a little more about the world my story is taking place in. Then the Priest of Tears killed Habbo.
It was awesome, so I added it to the story as an interlude. It just fit there. It worked! It needed to be a part of the story! After that, my slump was over, I was able to continue with the main plot line. So, if you’re in a slump, choose a seemingly random and unimportant character somewhere in the world of your story and write about them for a bit. You might end up with something you can work with, or at the very least, get your brain jogged.
Current word count for The Priest of Tears: 54,282/50,000!
Until we meet again,
Andrew Ronzino, Stormblessed