NaNoWriMo: The Halfway Point

We’re halfway through the month and we should have finished 25k words. How did you do? I’m a little behind since I’ve had a few bad days, physically and mentally, and those affected my word count. I’m slowly catching up with a few hundred words extra every day. This works better than forcing myself to double my writing efforts and almost forcing myself into a creative burnout. Know what method to catch up works for you. This is essential information if you want to plan your writing in the future. You still have time to catch up if you’re not there yet, or you can take a day off if you’ve already passed that milestone.

Destroying the block in the road

I felt stuck at the beginning of the week. It wasn’t really a writer’s block. It was more a feeling of being overwhelmed. I had no idea where to continue writing, where I was going or what I had to write. My story was good, but I feel like I did a terrible job of telling it.  I still do a little.

To get back on track, I made a list of all my scenes and summarise it in one of two sentences. I still had my timeline and my definitions of the major dramatic question and the lesser dramatic question from my prep work and they came in handy now. All of my scenes were still of use to answer one or both of the dramatic questions, as they’re supposed to. But there were gaps that needed to be filled.

I noticed the pacing was off. Some of the crucial scenes followed each other up rapidly, and while that’s good to keep the action going, it might not be the best way to tell the story. I spend a morning trying to figure everything out, but it was necessary. It allowed me to write again, clear the fog and I wrote 2000 words that day. Sometimes taking a step back will help you to move forward.

Nora has to hate one of the boys at some point and I still have to think of a way to make her change her mind. I like these challenges. It also allows me to think more about who Nora is and what pushes her buttons. She values her friendships and she doesn’t have a lot of friends, so losing one hits her hard and she’ll do anything to get them back.

The complete manuscript for A Devil’s Deal is the past the 40k words and 50%. And even though I already know the ending and have written the epilogue, I can’t wait to throw more stones at my characters.

This year’s project

A Devil's Deal

Cover of A Devil's Deal by Tessa Hastarjanto
Cover of A Devil's Deal by Tessa Hastarjanto
Genre:paranormal, romance, contemporary
Current word count:42.500
Summary:16-year old Eleonora is mugged the last evening before school starts again, only to find that the boy who took her bag is in her class. Her friends fawn over his good-looking brother, but he only seems to have eyes for Eleonora. What will she do when both of them are determined to be in her life?

Things I learned so far

  • I’m running a marathon. Pushing for higher peaks will only burn me out faster.
  • My volume has to be at 12% for optimal listening
  • Listening to C-pop, the Meteor Garden OST, in particular, works for me as writing music
  • Christmas music seems to work as well
  • Non-linear writing doesn’t work if you don’t have a clear outline
  • By setting my view in my editor on 150%, I don’t have to strain my eyes as much and I won’t have to change the font later

What have you learned about your writing process so far?

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