NaNoWriMo 2016: Fighting boredom

Last night I reached the halfway point with 25,083 words on the count. I am proud of that achievement (got me a new badge) but…and there is often a but, isn’t there.

But, I am bored with the story. I have hit a slump and earlier in FB post I compared it to ‘wading through the undergrowth using a blunt machete’, which is random as I have never actually done that, but also feels rather poetically accurate.

My action has stalled. I feel like all I am doing is character exposition and I am getting bored. This usually hits me a lot earlier so it’s an achievement in itself to have gone this far this time. So what can I do to get excited again and yet keep with the same story?

Here are a few things I have found reading other people’s blogs, Nanowrimo veterans and founder’s book ‘No plot, No problem’ and just thinking about what to do:

  1. Skip straight to a more exciting part
  2. Do a freewriting session
  3. Break it down in smaller 400 words chunks
  4. Stop worrying about the quality of what you are writing

There are a lot more advices around, you just have to Google Nanowrimo Tips to get a whole plethora of articles and blogposts from participants, past winners or from the guest bloggers on Nano site.

For now, I think I am going to try for n#1. I need a bit of action and I have an idea for some which is supposed to happen much later. Right now, it sounds more interesting than going linear.

 

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The one about inspiration

Most of the time, inspiration will come at random times and the first rule of writing – according to the self-help books I am currently reading – is to always have a notebook with you. That’s a very good advice I might say as I find that ideas pop into my head whilst I am on the bus or even at work, usually when I let my mind wander or if I am dealing with a particularly dull task at work.

I use to tell myself that I would remember it later but the truth is, I never do. You may remember something relatively similar (and maybe just as good) but you don’t actually remember it exactly. So now I have my notebook always at the ready and whether or not the idea I have has value, I just jot it down. Sometimes it is a variant of a story I have already been thinking about and sometimes it is something completely new. One thing I always make sure I do is put the date I wrote the idea down so I know in what order they have come…that’s my OCD side. I like things in order.

Lately, I have been having a million ideas a day (well maybe not a million but ¬†you get my meaning) so my pad has been filling up quickly and all has been revolving around the same original idea, which you’ll excuse me for not sharing. I don’t know that I will ever want to get published but better not regret it later.

My biggest problem with inspiration is not find any but realising that something pretty much similar has already been done and trying to find an original take on it, if possible. It’s weird sometimes to realise that although you are trying very hard not to copy anyone, other people’s ideas imprint your brain and seep back through without you realising it until you re-read that book or re-watch that movie. It has happened to me twice this week, which is a little frustrating. I thought I was being quite clever and in fact I was just being a copycat…without even realising it.

Another issue I have, is that although I may have an idea for a character, I don’t really have an idea of what to do with them. They can’t just go milling about. They have to have a goal, conflicts etc.

This has been plaguing me for a while so a few month ago, whilst I was googling for writing tips and creative writing blogs, I came across this short course and decided, fuck it, life is too short and I love learning anyway, so I signed up to it.

Tomorrow is going to be my third class (out of 6) and so far I have been enjoying it a lot. But more about that later.