5 Story Fixes – For When Your Stuck In The Middle Of Nowhere


Well we’ve just passed the middle of November and for all of you out there participating in National Novel Writing Month you should be somewhere around the middle of your novel.

First – Congratulations to you – all of you.

The fact that you have made it this far puts you in a entirely different category from the “commoners”, and you should be proud of your accomplishment. You might not necessarily be happy with the 25,000 words you have written (writers seldom are), but trust me you’re doing great.

What’s that you say?

You aren’t anywhere near that 25,000 to 30,000 word mark? In fact you’re telling me that you’ve spent the last few days staring at your screen, sacrificing thesauruses on the alter of your writing desk just to appease the writing gods?  You mean you’re stuck trying to figure out what’s next?

Well, I’m here to tell you – it’s okay!

Being a writer is kind of like being an inventor. You start when that killer idea pops into your head. That one thing that you know people out there are just dying to get their hands on. You’ve developed a basic design, you’ve set up your workspace, you have all the tools you’re going to need to construct this masterpiece at the ready, and then you begin building your prototype.

Only, shortly into the build, you suddenly hit an issue you never anticipated. How is this do-hicky ever going to fit with in that thing-a-ma-bob. It’s something you didn’t anticipate and now you find yourself struggling to move forward.

Talk to any inventor or creative person and I promise that they will tell you how it often takes several designs before eventually arriving at that wonder product that we all demanded.  And that’s EXACTLY what you are doing now – you’re prototyping.

So maybe now is a good time to step back a little and evaluate what you’ve got so far. Take a few moments to look over your story and prepare to break down your second act so that you can push forward for a strong finish. What follows are five ideas to help you with that unruly middle of your book.

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5 Ideas To Keep In Mind Writing A First Draft

Courtesy of Copyblogger

Writing first drafts is tough, right? I mean, writing first drafts of anything are difficult. Even writing the first draft of this particular blog post was tough.

For those of you participating in November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I probably don’t need to tell you that working every day to write a story is struggle. It’s a journey that often has no road map and no set destination.

But the one thing I have learned over the years is that, your first draft is all about discovering your story, not worrying about publishing one. It’s all about unearthing the information, getting to know the characters, exploring different settings, and discovering the arc of your narrative. It’s also about learning that the everything else can wait until the second draft.

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Tip To Winning NaNoWriMo – Lesson #1 How to Eat An Elephant

Tip To Winning NaNoWriMo – Lesson #1 How to Eat An Elephant

One of the more difficult aspects of writing a novel is that it can seem so overwhelming at times. It’s very much like when you look out into your garage and see nothing but piles and piles of stuff scattered everywhere.  You’ll make yourself a pledge that you’re going to clean it up and organize it, but you always end up putting it off. Why?

I’ll bet it’s because seeing all those boxes, and scattered tools, and and all that unused sports equipment just tossed together, probably makes it hard for you to know where to begin.

Writing a novel is exactly like that. It’s not so much about your skill level as it is about finding the willpower to hang on and see it through. I can’t tell you how many people, myself included, often end up psyching themselves out before they ever type one single word.

But I’m luckier than most because whenever I start to feel overwhelmed about tackling any big project, my little sister always tells me the same thing – every time.

“How do you eat an elephant, James? By taking it one bite at a time.”

That’s her way of reminding me that even the biggest of tasks is doable if you just break it down into smaller bites. By starting small,  you discover how to attack bigger jobs in a way that you can easily handle.

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