The first few days of nano (or fauxnano, or #100words, or whatever you’re doing to get through November) are always the easiest. You’re still fresh, full of zing! Held aloft on a wave of naivety and sheer clueless joy.
By day seven, that wave has crashed into the soggy shores of Bugger All This For A Lark, and your zing has gone the way of all things. Returned to the foul earth, trampled underfoot. I’m here to tell you it’s only going to get shittier. But that’s good. Because if you know now already that it’s probably going to be less fun than grating your face with a rusty zester, you’ll trudge on regardless, carving out terrible prose with a grim determination matched only by dying men trekking through the snow.
On the plus side, you probably won’t have to kill and eat your own dog, so in that sense nano’s a winner.
I’m not here to lie to you. Middles are the Worst. Week two and three are going to suck. Your plot is going to fall apart, your characters are gonna be dumb as fuck, and your dialogue will sound like it was written by a person who was raised by lemurs and has yet to meet and converse with another human. What is werds even.
This is normal. This is first-draft fast-draft suck, and it’s okay. You don’t have to delete anything, you just have to write a different scene, or tackle the story from a different PoV, or go all Tolkien and have your characters start singing a forty-nine verse song. You’re finding your way through the snow.
There are ways to get yourself through this. It being nano – you can have word wars, you can pick a word of the day and incorporate it into your scene. I usually find setting myself a 15 minute writing sprint can give me a fair number of words. A few of those scattered through the day can get me to my minimum.
Don’t read back. Guys, it’s Nano, no-one is expecting works of scintillating genius. At this point if what you’re writing is barely above See Jane Run, you’re probably golden.
Go. Have fun. Don’t die in the snow.