I actually got a lot done yesterday, at the coffee shop. Boosted my numbers by about 2000, which is pretty good for writing in a public space surrounded by my friends. Typically, in a situation like that, I wouldn’t get much done at all, being too busy chatting with my friends or people-watching. But it was good. Then, when D&D got cancelled last-minute (one player had homework he needed to finish, and that takes priority), I saw the entire evening stretching out before me, tantalizing as it offered the opportunity to not only catch up, but get ahead.
So I spent the entire evening playing Destiny 2. Even the period from 10-12 that I’d planned to fill with writing. So I’m still a bit further behind that I’d like to be on day 6. At the same time, I spent most of the night awake and sick because of what is likely food poisoning. I’d love to spend my time today writing, but its been hard to focus because I’ve spent so much time feeling pretty miserable. I’ve been reduced to reading and browsing the internet and even that is hard because of all the awful stuff happening in the new. Also, the book I can’t bear to leave alone is going through a super sad and tense bit that makes it simultaneously hard to put down and hard to continue reading. If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend the “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” trilogy by Tad Williams.
Maybe I’ll just play video games or brainstorm up a bunch of writing prompts. Or maybe I should clean my room and fold laundry. I’ve got plenty to do, I’m just pretty worn out so its hard to pick something to do. Food poisoning can be really draining. Yes, that was a joke.
Few characters can survive on their own. Even beyond the worries of physical survival, it is difficult to show a character acting in a world without someone to react to or play off of. A good book is going to have a mix of characters whose interactions can help fuel the plot and protagonist(s) growth. Write a scene where your character spends time with someone else and either/both characters grow as a result. Show a new relationship developing or an existing one growing stronger.
One thing that gets me really excited to write is consuming other stories, through things like books, movies, TV shows, or video games. If you want a good story that’s relatively easy to work through (in terms of time), I cannot recommend either the manga “Fullmetal Alchemist” or its anime counterpart, “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (and seriously just watch Brotherhood, don’t watch the other one… It isn’t worth it). The storytelling is absolutely stellar and the art is phenomenal. 10/10.
This probably counts as a little bit “cheatier” than most of the tips I’d post, but those of you doing your NaNoWriMo are probably constantly reminded to “write now, edit later.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at doing that. Going back to re-read what I wrote the day before is an important part of getting myself into the right headspace to continue writing. Part of that, of course, winds up being some small amounts of editing. However, your goal for this month is to just produce 50,000 words, not 50,000 post-editing words. I use the strikethrough font styling to show words I want to later remove because, that way, they still show up in my word count. I don’t think it really matters so much for me because I’ve always finished with enough words over the goal to remove all my strikethroughs without jeopardizing my win, but if I wound up throwing out an entire section or chapter because I realized it wasn’t going to work? That could easily save me 1000-5000 words.
Remember: the delete key is forever and some things don’t need to be erased to be improved, they might just need a little more time.