Though this week did not turn out as planned, I did manage to wrestle some time for NaNoWriMo prep. Even though it wasn’t as much time as I’d hoped to have, it turned out to be more than enough.
I’m finding with this story that I have not done as much prep as I have for other NaNoWriMo projects in the past. I think it’s a culmination of both knowing my process well and this manuscript in particular. In the past when I’ve come up on parts of stories I’m preparing to write that are going to be difficult to get through emotionally, my mind throws up walls to protect myself as I go through the journey of that writing. I let my mind protect itself up to the point that it’s time to write and then I lower the walls so I can access those places I need to go to in order to authentically write a character or scene or story. MS:SOS is going to be so much of that and my mind is working hard to keep me from going there too much before the actual writing of the story begins. I did force those walls down this week so I could work on detangling the second act of the story. It was good in that I was able to set the pacing for the scenes and figure out when things happen. It was difficult because an instance I didn’t think was going to happen in this story is going to happen and weaving it into the story was very emotional. It’s an instance that kept hesitating, as if it wasn’t sure it wanted to be woven into the narrative or my main character’s arc. As I was plotting and pacing, it became clear that it had to happen to her because so much of who she is before and who she winds up being after is dictated by the instance taking place. Immediately after realizing this, a whole level of the story was unlocked and frantically wrote itself into the bits and pieces of the second act I hadn’t seen before. That work took a lot out of me and once it was done, I let the work rest.
This week I will be diving into NaNoWriMo. Each day my goal is to write 2,000 words to reach my personal goal of 60,000 words on this draft by the time November is done. I’m going into this with the first two acts of the story pretty well sketched out. I know what is going to happen during the third act, though I haven’t nailed down the pacing of it yet. This is pretty common across all of my stories, because it leaves room for the first and second act to grow in the writing. Whatever surprises come up before the third act, and there are ALWAYS surprises that come up either in the characters or the world of the story, will dictate how the third act comes together. I usually set aside some time during the second week of NaNoWriMo to sketch out the third act, once I have an idea of what needs to be added. This part of the journey will post the morning of November first, probably as I’m writing the first chapter of MS:SOS. To everyone who is taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge, I wish you good luck and giving yourself lots of grace. This is a HUGE challenge to take on and I hope you find joy in it. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey!
In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.