NaNoWriMo Day 5: The Ups and Downs of Writing

Well, if the word count widget on the sidebar were working, it would show 13,173, over a quarter of the way to the 50,000 word goal of NaNoWriMo. The downside is, my story is nowhere near a quarter of the way done.

To be honest, I don’t really consider that a downside. I’m writing an epic fantasy, after all, and 50,000 words would be pretty short for this genre. Will I finish the whole story by the end of the month? I don’t know, but overall I’m very pleased with my progress.

My third evening of writing was bogged down with what I’m going to start calling the “Chapter 2 Blues.” I’ve encountered this on almost every multi-chapter story I’ve ever written. I write a really strong, cool intro, and then when it’s time for Chapter 2, I hit a serious case of writer’s block, like I just can’t figure out how to progress from the exciting intro of Chapter 1 into the more serious plot-advancing work of Chapter 2. Not that Chapter 1 doesn’t advance the plot; it certainly does, but since it’s the beginning, you naturally have a lot of freedom in deciding where and how you want to start. Chapter 2, on the other hand, you pretty much have to pick up where Chapter 1 left off. For some reason that’s always been difficult for me.

Nevertheless, on Day 3 I managed to power through the Chapter 2 Blues (although to make my word count goal, I had to switch to writing a separate scene that I had originally planned to leave out). On Day 4, the writing flowed much better, and I hit my word count goal in about three hours, rather than the five that Day 3 took me. (It didn’t help that on Day 3 I was also distracted by election news coverage.)

So four days gone, over a quarter of the way toward the 50,000 word goal, and well into Chapter 3. Things are definitely looking good.

Oh, and have a Happy Guy Fawkes Night. Remember, remember, the Fifth of November…

3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 5: The Ups and Downs of Writing

  1. I love the notion of chapter two blues. Admittedly mine doesn’t kick in until about chapter five, after I’ve finished introducing characters, setting and the initial plot, but it really is like plowing straight into a wall. You know where you are and where you want to be, you even have a fair idea of how to get there, but the writing stalls.
    Wishing you luck with your story – the world needs to be reminded that fantasy can be epic rather than just teenage drama.

    • Thanks! I’m not yet sure that I won’t hit Writer’s Block again in a few chapters, but hopefully I can power through it like I did here. I just have to remind myself (over and over and over again) that it’s okay to keep writing even if I think it’s bad, and then come back and improve that part in the second draft.

  2. Since I haven’t tried to write a novel before, I’ve been having some serious moments of doubt. I found tonight that I wandered all over the place, and I hit a wall. So I escaped to the bookstore, and when I returned I actually wrote something that made sense.

    Next time I do this process, I’m going to outline more. On the other hand, yesterday, an unplanned character emerged, and it was really fun!

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