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Nano: Moving forward

Ever get to that point in your novel where you know on a high, plot level what you want to come next (characters D & K turn to O for help, character X will actually turn out to be good, etc.), but you have no idea to get from where you are to there?

Yeah, story of my writing life.

As I was preparing for my Nano blog series last year, I saw a great post on tips for marathon writing by Kaye Dacus. I just might have to put one of her tips to use:

. Write Something . . . Anything

When you sit down for that scheduled writing time and you stare at that flashing cursor waiting for the words to come, and they don’t, DO NOT walk away from it and give yourself the excuse that you’ll just double-up on words tomorrow. Why do you think I’ve ended up writing the bulk of two of the last three novels I’ve finished in two weeks or less?

When I was writing what would become my first completed manuscript a little less than ten years ago, I got to a point at which (being a seat of the pants writer with no synopsis, only a vague story idea) I had no idea where my story was going. But I wanted to write. I needed to write. So since I’d just gone to the grocery store that evening after work, I wrote one of my characters doing the same thing. I had him get his basket. I had him pick out produce. I got him through the store all the way to the frozen-food section—where, surprisingly, he ran into another character; and, all of a sudden, I had a scene that moved the story forward again.

It sounds mundane and like bad writing (and it’s probably something you’d end up cutting most of in a revision), but not only are you working at that creative pump, you can also learn more about your character by doing something like that.

(Kaye has more great tips in her post!)

What do you think? What do you do to “prime the pump”? Aside from six round of Bejeweled on Facebook, of course. . . .

Photo by Polycart

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2 Responses to Nano: Moving forward

  1. I love this and give this advice to people all the time because I believe it’s so true. I like the write something funny and crazy, maybe ridiculous. Why can’t we have fun even if it may never stay in the book?

  2. I sit and just type. When I go back to edit, I’m amazed at the ratio of good to bad. Thankfully, good ekes out most of the time.

    Mary Jo

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