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Living on a Prayer

I’m halfway there! I have surpassed the 25,000 word mark in my NaNo novel. To be honest, I didn’t even know if I would make it this far! But I did, thanks to my lovely wife who demands me sit down and write each night. What would I do without her?

My novel is going as planned. It’s also going in places in which I never expected. Before November, I constructed a short outline of where I wanted this novel to go, just so I could remember my plans each time I sat down to write. So far, I’ve followed my directions to myself fairly well, but the last few days of writing have been crazy. As in absolute bonkers.

My characters just do what they want. I can’t stop them. They’re out of control! They’re still traveling down the path I set them out on, but when I throw a situation at them, they react in ways I had never imagined. This is a good thing, by the way. I would hate for my characters to be so predictable that even I knew what they were going to do.

By letting my characters react to the challenges given them, I am able to see deeper into their personality, their driving force, and who they really are. Because let’s face it, these are actual people. They matter. And by letting them be their own person, so to speak, the story becomes even more original, deeper, and much more powerful.

Now, veering off on another tangent, let me mention a few problems I’m running into.

My first problem is characters. I fear I may have added one too many. Some newly introduced characters in this book don’t really do much. They don’t have much of a purpose. I’m trying to give them a reason to be there, but it’s not looking good for them. If I can’t figure out what to do with them soon, I may just have to merge them together. I’ve heard that works quite often. Let’s hope it works here.

Another issue I’m having is that I just forget include some of my characters in the action and dialogue. They’re kind of just…there. But they play an important role in the story, so I can’t exactly cut them, can I? I want to kick myself for leaving them out all the time, but I suppose I can always go back and fix it in post. The point of writing a novel in a month is, after all, mostly to get the story out. I don’t want to stop and fix things because I don’t want to lose my momentum. So it looks like I’ll have a bunch of revising to do once I’m done. But I knew that would happen before I even started.

So there you go. My successes and my shortcomings. Things are coming along quite swimmingly with this novel, and I’m really excited in the direction the characters are taking it. I take no credit at all for this. I’m just along for the ride.

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  1. Michael Michael

    You could always make a useless character do something so awesome everyone falls in love with him and then have him get killed. 😜

    • Benjamin Benjamin

      Plot twist: Useless character is a Jedi on vacation!

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