By Olivia Robinson
The second week of National Novel Writing Month is wrought with tales of despair. Around this time, the plot holes begin to present themselves, characters start to have unplanned nervous breakdowns, and writers everywhere run to the store to replenish their coffee supply. Some lucky writers avoid this second week disaster, but not many.
As of today, my word count is stable and I still have an adequate supply of coffee. The only difficulty is that my characters are starting to get minds of their own. Many writers will tell you that sometimes “characters write themselves”. I remember hearing someone tell me that when I was younger and I thought they were crazy, but now I know that they were telling the truth. Characters can start to write themselves. They do things that you didn’t plan on having them do, they say things that you didn’t plan for them to say. Basically, when characters start to write themselves it is both the most frustrating and exciting thing that can happen during NaNoWriMo. Because sometimes, those characters and their unplanned actions have the power to drag you through the doldrums of week two.
For anyone who is struggling with their word count, fear not. There are ways to take a break from the writing marathon. Go for a walk, grab a coffee with a friend and tell them about your novel, read a book (although I suggest reading something other than the genre that you are writing to avoid being influenced), read a magazine or the daily newspaper, and do a writing prompt. There are endless ways to take a break from your writing without feeling guilty. And who knows, maybe you will discover some new ideas. You never know where inspiration will come from.
So if you are feeling the week two blues, take a break, have a snack, get some more caffeine in your system, and then keep writing. Even if you feel like your story is horrible, it needs to be written. And it will be week three before you know it.