If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I spent the first half of November prepping one novel idea, then I changed my mind and worked on another idea, and then in the wee hours before midnight on Halloween I changed my mind again. I was going to do this novel set in Candy Land, which I think would be fun and I want to read it… I just don’t want to write it.
Okay, so I thought this would be perfect. The setting is there. The characters are there. There’s CANDY everywhere. What could go wrong? Usually I can knock out 1667 after midnight the first day, then write more after I’ve slept. This year I wrote under 400 words before bed. By the end of November 1st, I had a total under 1200 words. By the end of the next day I managed to get to 1678 total. Both days I kept procrastinating and letting the distractions of the internet win – Candy Crush is almost like research! – which I didn’t want to become a habit for the month or I’ll never finish. Day 3 I didn’t write a word. I knew I had to either figure something out fast, or move on to something else.
So I moved on.
I looked through my writing idea notebook and saw a thought I once had and wrote down: “It’s funny how the socks I totally don’t feel like wearing one day become the socks I can’t live without the next.” I had NO IDEA where this could go, but I figured it would be better to do some freewriting on it than to not write anything. I also thought it would be better to go back to Q10 for my distraction-free writing, rather than stick with WriteWay Pro — which I LOVE, but doesn’t help when I’m struggling with writer’s block. I typed the words from my notebook. Then I wrote another sentence. And another. I didn’t time myself, but I wrote with only a few stops until I reached 1667. After a break (including dinner), I started writing again and ended up with a grand total of 2519 for the day.
I’m still not completely sure where my story is going, but I have some ideas. More importantly, the words are flowing much better than the 1678 that were such a struggle, it took me two days.
So the moral of this story is: If your novel is not flowing, don’t feel like you have to stick with it. It’s up to you if you count the discarded words in your total for NaNoWriMo – I don’t plan on counting what I wrote on the Candy Land story, but if it was a lot more or if I was starting over late in the month, I probably would. Do what works for you, and remember that if it’s not fun, you’re missing the point of NaNoWriMo.