I am having a minor freak out moment here. I am 17,000 words plus into my Young Adult novel that I’m writing. I’m doing it as part of NaNoWriMo, and for some foolish reason I think I can either complete the 50,000 word challenge or at least get close. I’m on the right pace, but not everyday turns out the same for writing. I mean, once all my original ideas have been written, then what?
That’s not the real problem, though. The 50,000 words all need to flow in a manner that tells a single story, and within that story convey multiple plot lines and characters. Words are easy. I can always find words (in spite of an earlier post wondering whether or not I would be able to do just that). It’s finding the right words that’s the problem.
I know, I’m supposed to suspend judgment and just write. Silence the inner editor and all that jazz. Got it. What I don’t have are novel writing skills. I’m floundering in the land of description and spending too much energy on back story. I know I need more action, but I’m not sure how to write it. How do I pace my scenes? How do I utilize dialogue effectively? How do I move the action from one point to another? How do I include the factual information necessary to understand the story? And on and on it goes. I have no idea how to craft a novel, this much is apparent.
For that reason, and that reason alone, I am freaking out. One thing that has helped me is the software I’m using, WriteItNow. It allows me to arrange my writing into chapters, gives me places for notes, setting, ideas, etc. It has screens that allow me to connect my characters together with all of their relationships, and offers so much more that I haven’t even scratched the surface of. And no, they’re not paying me to endorse them.
The other help has been my flow map of the story. I’m sure the software offers something very similar, but I didn’t take the time that I needed to learn how to do it. I just grabbed a pen and paper and started drawing my boxes, with each chapter’s main event summarized, so I can go back and add, delete, or change as necessary. For me this is far easier than an outline, but it still gives me the structure I need to make sure the story has continuity.
If you’re still reading, you deserve a medal. I feel a little better just getting my worries about this project off my chest. Now if I were a smart NaBloPoMo blogger, I would wait until tomorrow to post this, but I’m not. There will be more words tomorrow, I’m sure.