The first week of November has not passed like I expected; not that I knew what to expect with NaNoWriMo… I’ve never done it before, and I admit my approach to doing it this year is a “cheat:” I’m committing to 50,000 new words for an existing story.

Coincidentally, ideas for a series of vampire novels popped into my head at the start of the month. I’m a bit buggered, because I want to capture all these ideas while they’re fresh. I may manage 50,000 words by November 30th, but they won’t be in one place.

I suppose I shouldn’t overthink things. I should do NaNoWriMo in whatever manner works best for me, especially now. The last thing my family needs is me stressed out over writing. The key is to silence the editor, the inner critic, and allow words to hit the page. Form and grammar optional. *shudder* Have I mentioned how much it pains me to write incomplete sentences? I may need therapy by month’s end.

It’s said that good writers are always on the verge of embarrassing themselves. The notion really hit home earlier today. I realized I hold my characters back. There’s value in torturing them far more than I do, in making my story sad/difficult to the point of almost being laughable. It’s here, I imagine, one discovers the real gems. How strong is your character? What is their breaking point? How good is their sense of humor? What/who ultimately carries them through? What do they do that surprises you?

If we can keep throwing obstacles in our protagonist’s path, we expose them. We peel away the layers of our own misguided cleverness, and get down to the meat of character; which lies in those relatable moments when we’re most (unattractively) human. So, if we’ll allow our heroes to look like fools, we’re on to something spectacular.

Alright, Inner Critic. Consider this your warning. I’ve got a lot to accomplish this month.


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