I’ve been meaning to write about Nanowrimo since the first of November, but other things took over my brain and the blog and I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
If you don’t know what it is, Nanowrimo is an online “event” and community where writers strive to write at least 50,000 words in the month of November. The thing is, I always thought Nanowrimo was kind of weird, and not for people who are serious about writing. I was kind of judgmental about it, to be honest. Why wait until November to write a novel? But then I stopped writing my book last March, and all of the sudden it was fall and I needed motivation to write again. And so I signed up.
While I didn’t quite understand the point of Nanowrimo at first, something about entering my word count at the end of every day into the little box and hitting “Update Word Count” has kept me accountable all month. I have now written almost 40,0000 words, which, when added to my word count total before November 1st, means I have 86,000 words written of my novel. I can’t really put words to how good that feels as someone who has always struggled to write something longer than ten pages. I finally feel like the story is coming together. It feels complete for the first time since I’ve been writing it (I started in the Spring of 2016).
I look forward to the day when I can sit down and hold the completed manuscript in my hands. I can finally picture that moment.
Even so, when I sat down to write yesterday I got some pretty serious writer’s block. Because I’ve been writing so much this month, I think that I’m running out of things to write about. I’ve hit a bit of a wall and I’m struggling to come up with new scenes to write and itching to start stitching things together and editing.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few things that I have been doing throughout Nanowrimo to keep myself writing, because I’m sure a lot of people are feeling the same mid-month slump that I’ve been dealing with.
Honestly it wasn’t that far into the month when I realized that I was going to have a hard time writing nearly 2,000 words of fiction every day. My short stories are around 1,500 words and I’m not really a long-winded fiction writer. So I came up with the idea pretty early on that I would work on character profiles when I couldn’t bring myself to write scenes in the book. I created a form for myself and I started writing about what my characters looked like, what their strengths were, what their biggest fears were, etc. I thought when I first did this that I would finish all of my main characters in a few weeks, but the great thing about character profiles is that usually, when I’m in the middle of thinking about the specifics of one of my characters, a scene pops into my head and I can start writing the narrative again.
A short story with your characters
I am obsessed with short stories. I love reading them and I love writing them. At the beginning of Nanowrimo, in October, I decided that if I got stuck I would take a little break and write short stories instead of working on my novel. I haven’t actually had to do this yet, but I’m still keeping the option open. I think writing a short story featuring one of my characters would be a really fun way to know them better.
I’ve been doing this as part of my character bios, and I’ve found that it’s a really interesting way of getting to know my characters. Just writing in a character’s voice about the events of the novel or the events just before the novel for a few paragraphs really helped me to know more about what’s happening and what that character’s motivations are.
These have been great ways for me to keep moving forward with my book and adding to my word count when I’m stuck and don’t know where the story is moving.
I hope that everyone is having a fantastic November and an amazing Nanowrimo. If you have a profile on the website — let’s be friends! My name is just maryenolte.
Thanks for stopping by!
2 thoughts on “Nanowrimo Writer’s Block Tips”
I love your tip about taking a break to write a short story. I’ve done that too, and I think it’s a great strategy. Good luck with your novel!