Halfway through Nanowrimo and I have only written 5268 words so far instead of 25000. In this post I share how I plan to bounce back from a low word count for my NaNoWriMo project.
From False Defeat to Victory
Lately, I have been working with the beats from Save the Cat – Writes a Novel. If I were to write in chronological order I would be at the midpoint of the story by now but I write in a more helter-skelter way.
However, this is the midpoint for my NaNoWriMo journey. One of the characteristics of the midpoint is that here the hero experiences a false victory or a false defeat. It is safe to say that 5000 words are not a victory song so I have decided to call it out as a false defeat instead of a drop-dead failure. A false defeat means there is still hope and a lot more adventure to be had. And I still want to be able to claim the victory of reaching 50000 words at the end of the month.
For the hero to turn things around he or she needs to change. And writing this blog post helps me see that I have to change my approach if I want to complete NaNoWriMo this year.
Remedy for a low word count for NaNoWriMo
So what needs to change? Tell the story don’t drift away. I located three areas where I can step more fully in. Time, commitment, and mindset.
I have only been writing an hour in the afternoon because this is the time of the day where I can sit down in quiet and light a candle and write undisturbed. However, Novlr tells me that the hour only contains twenty minutes of actual typing. The good news is that I write about 500 words in twenty minutes. So if I just go back to my original plan to write four times during the day I will hit the original daily word count. To do this I will
- Fasten a notepad onto the baby carriage.
- Voice record part of the story on my phone
- write on the story as part of my morning routine.
Another fatal lure is not to stick with the story I chose to work on. I declared in an earlier blog post that I would work on my speculative fiction novel instead of the new idea I got from the preparation. It turned out I decided in favor of a third option. Apparently, I am neither a planner nor a pantser but a drifter.
If I don’t change things around I end up with a pile of unfinished stories and even though I loved the foreshadowed but untold stories in a Neverending Story by Michael Ende I loved the actual story and theme more. By invoking names we keep entire worlds from disappearing. I don’t want my stories to disappear. So I am committed to sticking with this story.
To keep me motivated I try to envision the final image which is the final beat in Save the Cat by Jessica Brody. It looks something like this. I have 50000 words on the same novel. On the 30th of November I celebrate by printing out the entire mess I will not be discouraged by what I read but I will look for the gold and find at least three things I love and can work with. I will celebrate how I got from the opening image of a blank page on the screen to the final image of at least 50000 words of my story
Please join in and share in the comments how you stick to your writing goals or how you bounce back from a low word count for NaNoWriMo.
If you want a more relaxed approach read my NaNoWriMo blog post on how to do camp the glamping way