NaNoWriMo: Welcome to the half-way mark

We’re just past the half-way mark for NaNoWriMo, and I’m thrilled to announce that I am right on schedule. I’ve finally managed to make some decent headway into this new story. It’s still no better than a very elaborate outline, but thanks to this challenge, I have managed to thread my way through some interesting scenes that I may not have written without the NaNo dashboard to act as my beacon light.

At this half-way moment, I’m starting to push past that wall of, “I can’t do this,” and want to share a light bulb moment for those out there who are still struggling to get a grasp on their story.

Write a synopsis.

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I hear your gasps of horror. A few might have spewed out their coffee or tea. I appreciate that I’m recommending surviving one form of torture by using another, but this is why it’s worth giving a synopsis a try:

  • Use it as a way to tell yourself the story. Once upon a time there was… and go from there. In those couple of pages, you can relate what happens to your characters at a very high level, and while you’re tapping it out, you’ll see where their motivations are weak and what you might want to give some more thought to.
  • Allows you to see the forest and not the trees. The biggest challenge we have in writing a synopsis is boiling down a full length novel into several concise paragraphs. But if you don’t have the full length novel yet, then writing a synopsis is really a piece of cake.
  • A funny thing happened to me on the way to the synopsis…the muse showed up. Without the pressure to write a scene or to make it perfect, the muse has full range to explore plot points that you may not have even considered. I found ideas just pouring out thanks to this exercise. By the end of it, I thought, hey, I want to read that. More importantly, I want to write that.
  • Allows you to drag your characters through the mud and push them off a cliff before you’re emotionally invested in them. We all love our characters, and if you spend months, years (cough…several years) working with them, they become your children. This connection makes it that much harder to subject your darlings to the cruel tribulations which is the necessary component for a compelling page turner. But by writing a synopsis early, you haven’t invested that much time in them, and you can be as merciless as the story demands. Apologize to them later.
  • No one has to actually see it, so the pressure is off, and if there’s no pressure, it will flow much easier than when you are facing an implacable deadline. Consider it practice.
  • You will have just written a rough synopsis for when your novel is complete. Doesn’t that feel great?

Let me know what tips you’ve found during NaNo month to further your story or engage your muse.

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If you’ve missed my previous NaNoWriMo posts (rants) and want to see just to see how zen I’ve become in two weeks (yes, it is possible–have hope), check out these related posts:

PS: Cross with me to the NaNoWriMo Finish Line

About Cryssa Bazos

Historical fiction writer and 17th century enthusiast.
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5 Responses to NaNoWriMo: Welcome to the half-way mark

  1. samoore777 says:

    This is an insightful and engaging post Cryssa. All good reasons to write an outline for your novel, and a few revelations along the way. I’m revelling in your success with NaNo, and I applaud all who venture into that misty world of emotion and potential. As a natural-born marathon writer and lover of first draft, I have experienced that push through doubt that stalls many writers in completing a story. Momentum is a must on this psychological journey that spins us through the ringer and threatens to toss us out. But you stay with the spin, keep your eye on the destination, and, like a long distance runner, exhausted and pushed to the limit, you find yourself at that marvellous finish line of story revelation. There is no greater elation for the writer, and, if we stay focussed through the inevitable rewrites that come after, no greater joy for the reader.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And I’m pushing through a double brick wall just now but I have experienced Sally’s epiphany before and will again. Great post and great comment, ladies! Now get writing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: NaNoWriMo: Day 10 | Cryssa Bazos

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