On Saturday the 21st, I passed the treacherous 35,000 word mark. I was shocked at myself, it really still feels like the 1st week of #NaNoWriMo but in real time its the home strech.
After the silly celebration dance and sweet binge, the serious thoughts came knocking. This is the perilous part of writing a novel or writing anything longer than 15,000 words (novelette)
The fear of the Saggy Middle.
Yes, this is the true test of a novel, the adreanaline inspiration bust is over, the perspiration begins around the 25,000 mark. this I guess is what dances around any writer’s head at night;
– Does this make sense?
A valid question as churning out words doesn’t make a novel. It has to have a great storyline, the MC (Main Character) has to be believable, his mission has to have meaning.
-Is your villian (antagonist) worth the trouble?
Sounds simple but its not, an averagely unpleasent guy with a gargoyle’s face and onion breath whose dog scares you shitless doesn’t make a good villian. He has to have a truly despicable goal that directly affects your MC or someone or something he cares 100% about.
-Do you have enough characters?
And here’s where World-Building comes in. Nobody is an island and everyone’s life has a backdrop. Be it city, village or an alien planet. It has to have supporting characters and a believable environment.
– Is your novel’s pace soaring or diving?
In essence, is the challenge for your MC ramping up the suspense or is it a smooth sailing middle. Smooth sailing is BORING. All your little clues and leads have to start connecting. The puzzle should be coming together now. This is where your reader’s breathing should get really short from all the suspense and battles.
*And last but not least*
-How will it end?
Quite possibly the nail in the coffin of bad books, the terribly boring and expected END.
Now the middle /ending is where the art really is, i would quote a statement I read earlier in the week – “writing is like painting, the more intricate and lifelike it is the more you can step into the mind of your reader”.
This is the genius in great books, the silent ability of stepping into your soul and mind. A great book steals time, i.e you don’t notice how long you’ve been reading it till your cooking burns to a crisp.
*wrinkling nose at stinging smell of burnt soup*
To my fellow #NaNoWriMo contenders it’s almost over, I can’t wait to rest my brain. Just 8 days left.
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