During this year’s NaNo, I first heard of a concept known as the week two doldrums, in which the participant finds him or herself at a standstill. The pressure of hitting the daily count, good old writer’s block, and the call of the outside world can all contribute to this.
I myself have found myself facing this situation this year (last year it was more like week 3.5). I had reached a point where I began to feel the story I’ve chosen to write does not have the meat to carry 50,000 words. My protagonist was stowed away in a fortified bunker, and the antagonist was waiting outside with no way to get in. My two opposing forces had reached a stalemate, and so had I.
I’ve still been plugging away, however, nowhere near the point of giving it up. Granted, most of my word count has consisted of half page descriptions of air vents and loopy, overly complicated mental soliloquies meant to explain various character motivations, but the count has been made. I can reel all the bullshit in later. And, all of the garbage I’ve written this past week hasn’t been for naught. It’s simply helped me find the path.
I had a bit of an epiphany last night…that my story isn’t about the person I thought it was about. I went into this meaning to write a direct sequel to the work I produced during last year’s challenge, focusing on the character of Pixie Sinclaire. But Pixie isn’t the star here…she’s definitely a player in the events of the story, but it isn’t her story. It’s the story of Arufina Villanova, and the band of gunslinging assassins/bounty hunters sent to capture Sinclaire, and the dynamic between them. It’s a siege tale told in reverse…Assault on Precinct 13 told from the perspective of the gang members, Rio Bravo through the eyes of the bandits, Night of the Living Dead as told by the zombies (okay, that one’s a stretch). I began today’s writing session using this direction as my guide, and I’m happy to say that the story has been infused with a much needed shot of adrenaline.
Hopefully, I can keep this pace up. I’m coming up on the half way mark, both of the story and of my deadline, and I still have to get past the Thanksgiving holiday. The sudden change in direction means that re-writes are going to be a real pain, but I find myself looking forward to the challenge. I feel like I have the potential for a nice, action packed romp, and I think I can salvage it.