The Monday Topic: The NaNo Halfway Point

Welcome to the middle of November! Its also the middle of NaNoWriMo. This is the halfway point! So, now what?

First of all, don’t stress yourself. There isn’t a written rule that says you need to have accomplished a particular set of goals in your NaNo project by now. The month is half complete, but you can still pace yourself. By now, if you’ve written half of the words you set out to write, that’s great. If you haven’t, don’t worry about it! There are some writers who will be getting started this week, and that’s okay too. If you’re at a place where you feel stuck, here are some things you can consider:

Are you working on fiction or nonfiction? If it’s fiction, does your story have a beginning, middle and end? If it’s nonfiction, have you researched your topic as much as possible, or could you stand to take a few more notes?

Have you established a setting? Characters? The story itself? Now is a good time to go back and read what you’re written so far and decide if your most important characters have made an appearance, and if the primary problem that needs to be solved has been introduced.

Do you feel like the narrative is lacking something? Do you feel like some of your scenes are too short, or you haven’t provided enough information? Try reading your work out loud. You’ll be amazed at the effect this will have on your writing.

Does your story have a hero? Villains? There’s a terrific blog post about to structure the plot of your story, known as “Save the Cat” :

Feeling overwhelmed? Take a break! Back away from your computer, or notebook, and talk a walk. Read a book or magazine. Enjoy a cup of coffee (or, if you’re like me, tea). Breathe.

I may or may not finish my project by the time November 30th rolls around, and I am completely fine with that. For me, the important thing is that I got started, I did some writing. By the end of the month, my project may only be half compete, but half is better than nothing at all.

Happy writing, everyone!

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