Originally part of a message to my NaNoWriMo region, Sydney Australia
For those keeping track, today’s official total target is 21666 words, but the only real necessity is trying to write something. November is about writing what you want to write.
There’s some of you that have finished already. Congratulations!
There’s others that are flying through, and more still that are struggling. Even if you’re on track with your word goals, it can feel like things just aren’t clicking as they ought to be.
We know that it’s this week when things tend toward getting stuck, but we’re here to help in any way that we can. Don’t try to think of this as writing your masterpiece, but as building a prototype for a future novel. You won’t always be happy with the words you’ve chosen but that’s okay. November is not for getting it perfect. Never mind the words, it’s not even for getting the events or characterisation perfect. It’s your chance to find out what works, and what doesn’t. It’s your chance to see what happens to your recipe if you add a new ingredient, your chance to find out that you can’t juggle, and your chance to let things happen.
Just as your characters can make mistakes, you too can make mistakes. You’re allowed to, and it’s kind of expected. Your characters can take a short-cut that leads them to a dead-end that they can only backtrack from, and you can explore a thread in your story that doesn’t fit with the rest. It’s difficult when you think it will work and find out otherwise, but it also means you can explore other ideas with impunity. If you have an idea that you feel may result in a dead-end, you can explore it anyway – you can write your way down the rabbit hole and could even find there’s something wonderous on the other end.