Deep Fried Writer’s Brain

This title kind of sounds like something Liv Moore might eat on iZombie. (Happy iZombie night y’all!)

But really, this post is about how I am so hopelessly stuck on my novel right now! I’ve got 22,241 words and I’m afraid NONE of them work. I’ve rewritten my opening scene 5 times and am considering doing it again (even though I do actually really like it now), because I don’t know where to go from there. I dropped a HUGE bomb on my MC (and I LOVED writing it!), and I’m not sure how she can believably deal with that while also trying to do the other things I need her to do.

I need my MC to go to a different city, but I’m not sure how to get her there. Everything I’ve come up with just feels so tenuous, like it wouldn’t actually be enough to motivate her. She does already want to leave her current town, I just can’t figure out a way for her to get to that other city specifically.

And also, I have more bombs to drop on her, and I don’t want to do them too close together, but may kind of have to in order to move things along, and I don’t know how to do it without it feeling like a huge hot mess.

I just don’t feel like the pieces of my puzzle are fitting together, and it’s so frustrating! It’s still a puzzle I want to solve, but AHHHH!!! *pulls out hair* *runs around screaming* *lights things on fire*

This is where I wish I had planned things out more, but I wanted to do NaNo, and November happened, so I started to write. And I’m kind of regretting it now, even though I did feel like I had to start writing because I wasn’t sure I could plan any more. But now I regret it. *slaps past me*

My brain may also be a bit burnt out, so I’m giving myself a break. I can stop writing for a couple days without getting behind on word count and give my brain some time to regroup. And I’ll try to brainstorm all the crap that could happen in my novel instead of what I planned, and maybe something magical will happen.

I’m beginning to resent word count, because it makes me feel like I HAVE TO WRITE because I HAVE TO WIN!!!!! (I really, really like winning, you guys. LIKE A LOT.) And I am determined to win NaNo. I just hope that I can solve this problem so I can actually write GOOD words to do it, and not just WORDS.

It feels kind of bad that I’m hardly anywhere in my plot and I’m already wanting to stab everything I’ve written. I’ve basically just rewritten the same 4-5 scenes the past week. It’s BAD. I NEED TO MOVE ON!!!! (Seriously, is it a wonder that I can’t get my character to go to another city when I can’t even move on from the first 5 scenes?)

But there’s still a lot of awesome I want to get to. I just have to find the awesome in THIS part of the plot to get to the NEXT awesome.

So I’m giving myself the day off from writing, and maybe I’ll give myself tomorrow off too, if I nothing brilliant comes to me.

And then after that, I will get to work to try to fix this mess with fresh eyes! (I already have a mind-list of all the things I can try if it comes to it, because I am Super Serious about reconciling with my novel.)

Everyone else out there doing NaNo, how’s it going for you? Have you encountered any snags? If so, what did you do to overcome them?

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So You Want To Write A Novel

If someone had told me two months ago that I would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I would have accused them of being insane. Back in college, when I had friends who participated, I thought they were insane. But here I am, planning my novel.

I don’t remember what sparked it exactly. While watching a TV character start to write her memoir, did I think, “Hey, I want to write a book”? After reading an amazing series of books and LOVING them, did I think, “I want to write something this awesome”? Possibly it’s a combination of both, and other things as well.

Writing has been part of my life for as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid, I made up stories. When I was a teenager, I wrote bad poetry. When I went to college, I wrote slightly better (but still bad) poetry, as well as some cringe-worthy self-insert stories to entertain myself and my friends. I even started out as an English major, with hopes to either become an editor or a teacher. Unfortunately, after a miserable year of depressingly uninspiring classes and too many books that I genuinely hated, I switched to Graphic Design (and I don’t even do that for a living). The switch put an end to any desire I had to work with books and publishing, because I actually hated reading for a while, until I rediscovered how amazing it is when it’s not forced upon me. But throughout it all, I kept diaries, journals, and a personal blog. Despite occasional periods of time in which I felt like I had nothing to say, I’ve always written about something, for some purpose.

So I guess wanting to write a book makes sense. And it also doesn’t. Honestly, the concept is terrifying. What if I fail? What if don’t finish? What if I burn out? I’ve honestly never finished a story in my life, so that could totally happen. What if I’m no good? *insert every negative thought here*

I’ve tried to argue myself into not being afraid of trying this, but what can I say? I’m still freaked out.

My writing process doesn’t help. It currently goes a little something like this:

“I have NO ideas! I’m crap! I should just stop now!”

*awesome idea comes along*

“I am on top of the world!!!!”

*lots of crappy ideas that won’t work with what I’ve already come up with*

“See? I’m totally awful at writing. I should give up.”

*some time elapses*

“I wonder how x works? Or why x happened in history?”

*googles*

*awesome idea comes along*

“I’m the best ever!!!”

…And so on.

But even so, I’ve got some really awesome ideas, and I’m excited to work on them! My next mission is to plan. PLAN PLAN PLAN!!! I need to work out a cohesive structure for my novel, because going in blind (as I did in many of my previous stories) has never worked out very well for me. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to make it to the end this time!