NaNoWriMo, 2019 — 10 Days In

10 days into NaNoWriMo, and things are still going really well. I’m 999 words shy from hitting the 40k mark, which is fantastic. I’ve had a lot of really good writing days and one slog day where I got my words in, but was really distracted.

This novel that I’m writing this year, The Sixth Cleric, has been a blast to write so far. However, I found myself questioning whether or not the story is too slow. I wrote an action scene today that finally sped things up, but I feel like that was the only place where the action was needed so far. I’m not one for adding in needless action just for the sake of having it.

On the other hand, having a story that’s too slow can bore the reader. I love a good drama, but the genre is important too, and too much drama without enough action in a fantasy story would just suck. Imagine A Song of Ice and Fire without all the death, would it be the same story?

Question for writers: How do you find that balance for writing action and dramatic scenes?

Advice for writers: Make sure when you’re writing something that you’re not throwing in stuff just to have more stuff there. Yes, you want your story to have substance, but needless and pointless scenes are just that, needless and pointless. If it doesn’t further the plot or enhance your characters, cut it out.

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino

Five Days In

We are five days into NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been doing very well. I have already crossed the 20,000 word mark. 20k in five days isn’t bad at all.

Just today a friend of mine said, “You’re so close to the goal, you’re going to be done super early.” I told her that though the goal of NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words, I don’t stop there. My personal goal is to finish the novel. I don’t just want to write a bunch of words, it’s National Novel Writing Month, so I want to actually write “The End” in 30 days.

I look forward to this every year. I like to use the challenge to try new things and experiment with my writing. I don’t like to just do the same old thing year after year. I experiment with genre, style, POV, and various other elements.

Because this year I’m continuing a series I’ve been working on periodically for several years now, the setting isn’t new, but the story arc isn’t something I’ve handled before; underlying religious tones of tested faith. What happens when your faith gets rocked and you learn that something you believed in your whole life may have been a misconception? It’s a little challenging. I want to do my characters justice and not just have them react how I think I would, but rather how I think they would.

Question for writers: How do you handle this, when you want to keep your personal convictions separate from your characters’?

Advice for writers: Don’t be afraid to rock your MC’s boat a little. It’s okay to make them question their faith and explore what that means for them. How will it affect their future?

There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.

-Andrew Ronzino