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Author Topic: Nano Support Group part 2
Unwritten
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I thought it might simplify things if we started a new topic for the second half of Nanowrimo.

Killing someone was harder than I thought it was going to be. First of all, my whenever I tried to get my MC to do something, he would balk and say, "I would never do that. I would do this..." and that thing would add a couple of pages to the story. Finally I realized that I was just stalling, and it was time for my villain to be truly villainous and my main character to be truly heroic. Thank goodness for the Shovel of Death. I think that one scene would have lasted 50,000 words, if I hadn't remembered that. It didn't actually kill anyone--a gun did that--but it saved my main character from dying when I still have 30,000 words to write about him. I may have to go post my thanks at the Shovel of Death thread.

I'm at 20,260 words, which isn't too bad. I could still pull this off. We all can! This is where it starts to get fun.
Melanie


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KayTi
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I was thinking I was far behind because I didn't have the chance to write during the day today and skipped the whole day yesterday, but then I had a little mini-blitz while helping my son fall asleep (he was only slightly distracted by the typing, LOL) and snuck in more than 1600 more words. I'm now within spitting distance of the halfway mark and thinking I should stay up late to write those last 600 words just to get officially caught up.

But then again, maybe I won't. I'm still finding it hard, the pace on this story is terrible - everything moves so slow. I am finding that I'm feeling the need to dramatize everything. At some point I'm going to just give up and write "three weeks later..." and move on.

But it's going, and I'm almost 25000 words into it. That's pretty awesome.


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Wordmerchant
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My wordcount as of today is 47515. Of that, I imagine about 20K might actually be worth keeping. Still, this is farther than I have ever gotten on any story before my self editor took over.
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Unwritten
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Wordmerchant and Kayti, it sounds like you are both doing great. You're on the down hill stretch now!

I suppose the rest of you are busily writing away. When you get a minute, check in and tell us how you are doing. I hope there are a few of you still slogging along in the first half of your book like me!


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gobi13x
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I was working on my story and decided that maybe my ending needed to be changed. I was wondering what people thought was better. If there is a conspiracy led by her best friend against the main character that ends up with her dying, do you think it is better if the MC knows who did if but could not stop her death or the readers know but she never does? It wouldn't really change the story much, but I was curious what others thought.
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Broda
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If the MC knows it could lead to a lot more words
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gobi13x
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I am not looking for more words. I have that covered, but I am trying to figure out which would be better for the story.
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sjsampson
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I am at 29k words. Congrats to those getting close to 50k!

gobi13x - I guess it depends why the MC has to die. In general, I think I would prefer for her to know, but I don't know enough about your story to say.


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aspirit
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I'm at 17,000 words, and I'm not going to bed until I write another 3,000. I'm frustrated with how little I know about the setting and historical forces acting behind the scenes in the story, though. Nearly every paragraph I've written so far will need to be rewritten or verified for believability. Argh.

Gobi, I'd prefer to see how the MC reacts to the knowledge that her friend betrayed her.


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LAJD
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I am at just over 23K words. I was doing so well, then I fell behind. But I will catch up. This is the first novel I have ever written and last Thursday I realized that more characters=more words! Who Knew? Oh, yeah I'll bet all of you did!

I also realized that if I focused on my baddies for a few sections- really put them in stressful/dangerous situations and see what they did - that would also lead to new places and plot twists.

I am a bit worried about the holiday next week. But if KayTi can write and put a baby to sleep, I can write and bake.

Leslie

P.s. What is the shovel of death?

[This message has been edited by LAJD (edited November 18, 2008).]


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tempest
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well, i'm coming up on 17k. i hope to make it to 19k tonight.

I'm really enjoying the writing process. when i can steal away some time to write, its become a sort of hypnotic experience.
I'm not too worried about being short on words because i'm progressing well in my novel.

good luck everyone.


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Unwritten
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I can't find the shovel of death on Nano this year, but that's probably because I don't have time to search through the threads. There is a thread on Nanowrimo for people who have found a way to add the Shovel of Death to their stories. If I remember correctly, the shovel doesn't actually have to kill someone. It can just be a portent of death for those in the know. And now you are!
Melanie

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Unwritten
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http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node%252F3011731
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gobi13x
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I had to spend today to decompress my mind. I had an overload of writing yesterday and way ahead of where I can planned on being. I finished up one scene that I didn't do yesterday, and that was all the writing I did today. Sometimes it is a good idea to take a day off. Hopefully the ideas will flow back through me tomorrow and I can keep going.

I had never heard of the shovel of death, maybe I will put that in my story. One more person dying would not matter much and might be interesting in what that person had to die by a shovel.

[This message has been edited by gobi13x (edited November 18, 2008).]


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KayTi
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I'm at 29567 words, which is a rather ridiculous number - I should just write those 443 more words, eh? I'm 439 words away from where I'm supposed to be on this date according to my spreadsheet. I should probably just write 500 before bed and be done with them.

But meanwhile, I'm still miserable with the story. Terrible story, messy ugly stupid story. But I'm starting to play with the themes and concepts, and decided today (with inspiration from my 7 year old, not a "baby" LAJD, but my baby all the same) that there are two competing alien forces on the space ship that my 11 year old protagonist needs to figure out, but I've only just set the wheels in motion on her figuring them out. This story is going to get cut by 1/2 or more when it's finished in order to make room for the rest of the story that still needs to be told. Right now it's just a bunch of the MC + her friend going off on adventures in the ship that aren't very adventurous. Gotta work on that.

Wonder about the shovel of death. Might be some space for that in my story...


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sjsampson
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30k words. No shovel of death - yet.
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aspirit
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tempest, I adore you right now.

gobi, you're right. Yesterday was my day off, too. I couldn't bear to write a single word.

Yeah for shovel of death! That's going in my last scene, methinks. If anyone else has any bizarre concepts I may use, please let me know. I'm already sparse on sensible concepts.


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tempest
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hmmm, adored? is that for my dazzling smile or my embarrassingly low word count?
if its the latter, you'll be ecstatic to know i haven't even broken 18000 yet.

[This message has been edited by tempest (edited November 19, 2008).]


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Wordmerchant
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My Nano bar just went green! 50196 And yes, I am overly pleased with myself.
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Unwritten
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That is so cool!!! I'm overly pleased with you too. And a trifle jealous, wondering if I'm going to see that this year. I am just about to hit the half way mark. Life is doing everything it can to keep me from finishing this year. Still, even if I don't make it, I've still gotten a great start on a novel I really like, even if it is rough around the edges.
Melanie

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tempest
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Congrats Wordmerchant! That green is great to see i'm sure.

Like you, Melanie, i wonder, no i doubt, that I will get there this year. I am, however, happy because I have learned so much and love what I am writing. I'm still plugging away at it, but i'm really fighting that tempting lure of editing. I admit I have gone back and rewritten some. ah, well.


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aspirit
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Ah, tempest, so it's the dazzle of your smile that forces me to leave the computer at night. Now I understand.

I'm above 20K, but the story's a mess. Not only does it suffer from the lack of research, I've also discovered I'm weak at plot development. Someone here told me that once; I guess I wasn't paying attention. A happier lesson learned today is that I write more when I stay in a single POV for a scene (like I'm supposed to), because I carry each concept further. I am learning from NaNoWriMo and that was my goal.

Congrats, Wordmerchant! Where do you think you'll be on November 30?


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Wordmerchant
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quote:
Congrats, Wordmerchant! Where do you think you'll be on November 30?
Carpal Tunnel surgery or the madhouse?

Seriously, I need to figure out how to take the 5 or 6 storylines that are running and bring them to some sort of end that is neat, intelligent and somewhat believable. Hopefully, I get that far by 30NOV. After that comes the hatchet.


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Unwritten
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I was reading one of the nanowrimo pep talks--can't remember which one, but you probably all got it. He recomended trying to finish the story, even if it's miles away from being done. He said to write reminders to yourself about scenes you need to add, or whatever else you need to do to get the story arc completed and wrapped up in a neat little package. I didn't like that idea at first, but it's growing on me now. I might try and do that, even if I don't get to 50k, but I'm still in there fighting. Hopefully I'll have more time to write in the next 8-10 days than I have had the rest of the month, and as you can see, I'm getting really verbose about simple subjects.
Melanie

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gobi13x
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I got to the goal line a couple of days ago, but now I got nothing left to add. I thought a couple of days off would help, but I still got nothing. I have no idea what to add to it, so I am going to have some people read over it and then maybe they will give me some ideas. Maybe then I will be able to progress.
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Unwritten
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Are you saying that you don't know how to end it? Do you have a complete story arc with an ending and everything? Wow. Maybe you're done. Could you maybe add some more descriptions here and there, or maybe add some characterization somewhere? Just some thoughts.

It was a much steeper, more treacherous path than I'd thought it would be, but I finally made it to the halfway point (and beyond!) I finished the day with over 26,000 words. My goal is to repeat this tomorrow. That would put me over the 30,000 word mark!

For those of you who aren't past that 25,000 word mark, I just want you to know that the world really does look brighter from over here!


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Unwritten
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gobi13x: I was just wondering if there might a character that's hiding an interesting sidestory from you. My character's do that all the time. They think they are so clever, but I always find them out in the end. Oh, I'm tired.
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sjsampson
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I went to my second write-in tonight and had a blast. The word wars did not derail my story as bad as they did last week. I had a disaster on my hands after last week's session. I managed to work it all out. I am up to 34k now.

Congrats Gobi and Wordmerchant!


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Cheyne
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With less than 13000 words completed, I could be feeling a modicum of guilt or disappointment, but I have found this experience fruitful in other ways.
Before November I had reached a plateau in my writing. I had almost (almost!) stopped writing. I was not finding, making, or stealing time to write as I had been able to do in previous times. My major WIP was looking bland and boring, and frankly, poorly written. I was getting down on myself as a writer and my inner editor was threatening to wipe my hard drive.
NaNo seemed to me a good place to kickstart my writing (and learn to silence my IE)and it was. I have been writing everyday again and my juices have been flowing to a degree that I haven't felt in months. I have thought of several ways to improve my WIP, but have been sticking to writing my NaNo novel.
So, am I winning? Not at NaNo, but in my own mind, in my own battles, yes.

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Unwritten
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Cheyne,
I think that's awesome, and I feel pretty close to the same way about it. At the end of the month, we'll all be better writers. Last year I learned that I could write a book, and that was important to me. This year, I'm learning something about the discipline of writing. Right around the 22,000 word mark, writing the story on the computer started to feel just like it does when I'm making it up in my head. It's hard to explain what a rush it is to imagine something and when you're done to have it preserved in written form. Wow, it feels amazing, and that's so much more important than winning...but now I'm off to try and get past 30k.
Melanie

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Unwritten
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30,741 words! Yay me!
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aspirit
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I've passed the half-way mark! I'm aiming for 30K by the end of the day.

On a different note, the article linked below was in one of my local newspapers, and I thought it was cute enough to share.
Third-graders try their hand at writing great American novel
My favorite bit was from a nine-year-old: "I wrote [a good story] in second grade, but it didn't make any sense at all." I know what that's like!


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Wordmerchant
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quote:
30,741 words! Yay me!
Yay you indeed!

I started looking over what I have written so far and have discovered that one of the peripheral characters wants to be the MC. I suspect that when I get to rewrite time, this thing is going to become something entirely unexpected and unplanned for.

In the meantime, I am having a hard time keeping my editorial mitts off the story and continuing with what I have now. I was so focused on the 50K goal, I really didn't have a plan of action after I got there. I'm finding it difficult to focus on all the loose ends I have drifting about.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Wordmerchant, you really should consider giving yourself a break from the thing before you try to focus on any loose ends.
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Unwritten
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I spent a lot of the day writing, but I only wrote about 3k. It was frustrating. The problem was (IS) that last year I wrote a novel, and this year's nano is the sequel. Sounds simple right? But the sequel actually starts 4 years before the first book so that it can introduce a new character. Today I finished that part (yippee!) and moved on to the part where the two stories merge for a few pages before taking off on their own separate story arcs. That was harder to do than I'd ever dreamed it would be, and I wish I could talk about it to OSC, because he's the only author I can think of who has done this successfully. While I'm dreaming, I also want to my publisher and the producer of the movie adaptation

Finally, I just glossed over that part of the story and started writing again, and hopefully the rest will go more smoothly. It's an awkward transition though. Up until now it's been a survival story and suddenly it's supposed to become a love story. Ah well, November is not the month to think about that, right?
Melanie

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited November 22, 2008).]


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LAJD
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I'm so happy! I was behind am now am catching up! 34,769 words! I think I can - I think I can!

Congrats to all the early finishers!


Leslie


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KayTi
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I'm at 37089, and keep finding other story ideas I wished I had thought of/could explore/were writing about. It helps/hurts that I'm reading a lot right now and I'm finding several different themes and ideas that I don't normally gravitate toward as being compelling. In particular I think I want to try out some fantasy next. Maybe not high fantasy, but something different. Alternate universe stuff.

So it's making each writing session pretty much a chore. That plus the fact that I still only have a vague idea of where I'm going with this is definitely a challenge, but I'm right on target. I need to get a little bit ahead because my kids are off school until December 1st (eek!) and I foresee some challenges in my future in terms of meeting word counts on the remaining days, but we'll see.

What is interesting to learn is that i can still force myself to write, even when it is a chore. I am itching to write other things, and will have more time in December, so...fingers are crossed that this will help give me energy for December and beyond.


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darklight
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I've not been around much lately, I've struggled through illness this last week, and finishing up the last 10k of my novel, which I thought I would never do. Good nesw is, with the aid of a power cut last evening, I've reached my 50K. I'm rather hapy about it. I'm in fact at a little over 51k now, but have a dilemma I'd like some help with.

Vote please for:

1. The happy, everything is tied up, ending.

2. The surprise, twist, not so happy ending, leading to a sequal.

I had always planned on the first scenario, but just had a great idea for the second.

Congrats to all who've already reached 50K, and to those still writing, not long to go now, you can do it!


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Unwritten
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I always like the surprise-twist-leading-to-a-sequel-but- everyone-is-still-relatively-content-as-the-story-ends books myself.
Melanie

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tempest
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Things are looking bleak for me in terms of word count, but i'm not too upset. As a beginner at writing, I feel I've learned a great deal and have loved the journey. Like you said, unwritten, it is a rush to vividly imagine and be able to have it written down afterwards.
I'm not winning at NaNo either Cheyne, but i feel like i have already won a big battle for me.
still fighting.....
tempest

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KayTi
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I don't recommend surprise/twist endings because they are often considered overdone, poorly done, etc. (like an author can't figure out what to do so they throw in a twist and buy themselves a few years to write the sequel.) I'm also a sucker for a happy ending, but that's just me and personal preference.

Meanwhile, I have my own Nano dilemma to seek input on. Should I have the MC and her sidekick together during the climax (they're 11) - or would it be more dramatic for the sidekick to *also* get kidnapped by the bad guy (who is already kidnapping a third person that the MC is close to) and then the MC has to, more or less on her own (with the help of a kindly doctor) solve the mystery, rescue her friends, and save the world (not necessarily in that order. LOL)

I had planned the sidekick to go with the MC through the saving the world stuff, but now that I'm at the point of writing it, it occurred to me it might up the dramatic tension if I remove the sidekick and make the MC go it alone here. Then again, when I get myself thinking in ways that involve words like "increase the dramatic tension" - I think I'm overthinking things and should just WRITE.


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Wordmerchant
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KayTi - If it were me, I would be asking myself the following questions:

Does my MC already have sufficient emotional investment in a successful conclusion to the problem? If so, then the kidnapping of Sidekick might be gratuitous, and runs the risk of being seen that way. If the MC needs further motivation, then this is a good option.

Why would Evil Bad Guy not simply snatch the MC instead? If I were an evil bad guy, I would not mess around with lesser threats unless I could not get to my main threat.

As another thought, have you considered a thwarted kidnapping attempt on Sidekick? This would up the immediacy of the danger, provide added incentive to complete saving the world, and still allow you to pursue your original idea of having the two side by side at the reveal.

I am sure there are other options out there, but these are the ones that come to mind for me.

Of course, this IS NaNo, so writing both ending is a valid word count option.

[This message has been edited by Wordmerchant (edited November 25, 2008).]


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Unwritten
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I'm going to do it! I was so close to quitting yesterday when all my writing time got used up with a family crisis. But finally, the sheer volume of things that were keeping me from writing made me dig my heels in and I pulled a half nighter last night and got a babysitter this morning and I am at 40,001 words. The end is in sight! I think I might actually wrap up the story too. Last year I kept writing for months before I finished, but this year I skipped a few scenes I'm going to have to rewrite, but other than that, I think I'll have the whole rough draft finished by December. What an amazing feeling! Now I just have to figure out what the end is...

It sounds like I'm not alone in that. Good luck to everyone, whether you're at 15,000 words or 55,000!
Melanie


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gobi13x
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I have still stagnated with my story. It has been a week since I wrote anything meaningful on it. I have tried adding some stuff to it, but I just delete because I do not like it at all. I have sent it out to others, but they have not given me any feedback on it yet. I know there is something missing in the story, but I can not find it. I hope something can be found in it, because I think that when I find what is missing I can get a lot more out of it.
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KayTi
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There's no review cycle in Nano! (said in Tom Hank's voice from League of Their Own, "There's no crying in baseball!")

Good luck. My suggestion, if you were looking for one, is to just start writing, even if what you write is literally "I don't know what to write I don't know what to write I don't know what to write."

You can retell yourself the story. Sometimes just trying to explain the story in text is enough to jar loose whatever logjam was holding me back. Nobody has to see your Nano project, it can be total crap, but the power in getting through to 50k is strong. It's what's propelling me. After last year's Nano month I felt like I could do anything (not just writing - literally anything.) I "get" the writer mentality a lot more now. I want to feel this way all the time!

Good luck to you and to everyone. I am nearing the finish and excited about getting there, and excited to *not* hate my story as much as I hated it a week ago.


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LAJD
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Good luck to everyone on this last Nano weekend! I am going to make it, just posted 47K words and its just friday.

My problem....ending? uh, er.....hm....I cannot end this in 3K words so I am just going to keep going until I have an end. I will win Nano but not with a complete Novel. Oh well.

Leslie


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Unwritten
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I did it!! Not too fond of my ending, but it's a real story, with a real arc and it ended at 50,723 words. Now I'm dragging myself off to bed for a well deserved rest. Good luck to everyone who is still plugging along.
Melanie

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LAJD
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congrats! I did it too, with a real ending even! I am so amazed that I could do this. Who knew?

Now the editing.....slog slog....

8)

Leslie



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Wordmerchant
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Congrats you two! I made my official "end" at 59,323. Not completed but enough to work with later.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Way to go, people. I'm proud of you all, even those who didn't win. It's a great thing to even try.
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