NaNoWriMo Tip #21: Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Titans and other giants are imprisoned in Hell...

Today’s title comes from Dante’s Inferno, the words written upon the gates of hell.  You may be feeling like that right now even if you have planned this NaNoWriMo novel to the teeth.  It happens.

If your fingers are still hammering away at the NaNoWriMo (and you haven’t given up), you have come thus far by shedding several demons along the way.  One of the nastiest of these demons is the one that whispers to you in the dark of some terrible night, in the back seat of that roller coaster writer’s mind of yours and says:

“This is the worst stuff you have ever written.”

This demon can cause you to stop writing all together.  Please, dear writer friend.  You have traversed down this rocky road of NaNoWriMo to reach day 21.  You have only about a week more until you need to start winding it down.  Your characters are probably in the most precarious positions they could ever experience in their short, 50,000 plus word lives.

How do you defeat this demon once and for all?

Throw caution to the wind.  Put those characters in either the greatest internal or external conflict you can imagine, with no hope of survival either physically or mentally.  Amp it up.  The most fun for you as a writer is figuring out how all of the conflict is going to end.  Who will die?  Who will go mad?  Who will find peace and prosperity?

It is, indeed, all up to you.  You are the god of their universe.  Make it happen!

If your courage is failing you, and if you feel that the NaNoWriMo will not happen, faint not.  Take that marvelous heap of writing you have composed these past 21 days and cannibalize it for more thought out fare.  Many of my failed short stories or failed novels have become full fledged ideas later on.  No writing is wasted, it is only recycled.

However, I pray you find the courage to continue.  You only have 9 more days to go.  Get busy, drop this blog post like a bad habit, and let your fingers do the talking!

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

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