Hitting the wall

brick wall

{image credit}


Yesterday I was supposed to crack the 40,000 word mark of NaNoWriMo. That’s a big marker, as it’s only 10,000 words of the winning target figure. But I have hit a wall.

Deciding to do NaNo this year was a last minute thing. I originally wasn’t planning on it at all. I knew how busy November is for me and not only that, my story idea wasn’t fleshed out as much as I usually like before starting writing. I sit somewhere between a panster and a plotter. I like to have a general idea of the story line and the the story arcs along the way. I always like to have a destination in mind. This year though I was still very much mulling different ideas and scenarios around in my brain. My ideas were murky and muddled and I really wasn’t ready to begin. But I did.

And by all accounts I’ve done really well. Until now.

Now I’m not getting down on myself, after all having almost 40,000 words is an enormous effort. As my writerly crush Allison Tait likes to say, “It’s more words than you started the month with!” This is true.

My story has been both easy and challenging to write. The format revolves around alternating chapters from present day to seven years earlier, so basically I have to have two stories going at once yet both entangling with each other. What happens in the past directly affects what happens in the present. I began writing this way. One chapter past, one present and so forth. That went well for about six chapters and then I realised it would be much easier to write the past chapters first and then the present. This is where I leapt ahead. The past story is one that has been an idea of mine for many years, so writing it was relatively easy. However, now that I am up to dealing with the present, things are getting tricky.

I feel like I need to pause time and think. Take a few days to loll things around in my head. I know what is going to happen, I even know how it is going to happen, I just need to sift through the finer details and organise things into some sort of logical order. The thing is, NaNo doesn’t allow for this ‘lolling around time’!

So I’m stuck. Do I just write and see what happens? It’s only a first draft, there will be much revision, editing, chopping and rewriting. Or do I take the normal path that I would usually take and give myself room to think?

Although I know I am certainly not failing if I  don’t ‘win’ NaNo, but being so close (further than I have ever been in the past) it is both frustrating and tempting to just soldier on and get those words down.

So yes, I’ve hit a bit of a wall. I just need to decide which way is the best way to go; over it, or through it!


Any advice? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How’s it going for you – any road blocks?

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT