Rekindling Your Enthusiasm With Darren Brown!

November 16, 2008

Well, I posted this on the NaNoWriMo message board, but it struck me as being a pretty useful piece of text so I thought I’d pop it up here as well, for those who don’t frequent the board.

So, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend around here.  People – me included – are beginning to grow weary of their novels.  They’ve been working and working on them for ages and they just never seem to be getting anywhere.  On the other hand, we’re getting bright new ideas in our heads about new novels that we want to work on that should be so much better than what we’re doing now.

Obviously, what we need is a way to shift our motivation.  A way to rekindle that flame of love toward our original project.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t hire the real Darren Brown to reprogram your brains, so we’re going to have to do it a bit differently.

The first thing you need to do is think about all the enthusiasm you have for this new project.  Not about its essence, or the words, or whether you think you could finish it by the end of November.  Just focus on your enthusiasm.

Next, think about what you have planned next for your WriMo novel.  Boring by comparison, is it?  Just a lackluster chunk of plot with no feeling?  Yep, I thought so.

So what you’re going to do is you’re going to take the last piece of plot you’ve worked on, and look at it as though it’s the very start (or near the very start) of your book.  Figure out what kind of magical things are going to happen in this scene to lure you into the world and make you want to explore it some more.  Don’t worry about repeating things you’ve written earlier; duplicates can be taken care of in December.  Craft your world from the bottom up, as it were.  Expand those little things that you’ve been wanting to toy with but never figured out how to fit in.  Introduce a brand new cast of characters, if you want.  Remember, although it’s cleaner storytelling to introduce everyone in the beginning, it’s more intriguing – and much more realistic – just to weave them in as you go along.  Try exploring tangents of your story that you’ve never thought of before.  Do subplots within subplots of completely unimportant characters if you want to.  You can do anything with your story, as long as it gets your blood flowing and that new-novel itch back into your system.

Or, if your plot seems to be completely dead and just won’t move no matter how you prod it, it may be time for a new plot twist.  This could be any random thing, if you’re not worried about violating your genre.  It could be something that you thought about including some time back but threw out because you found it superfluous.  Well, drag it out and try it on for size!  It can’t do any more than not fit.  Or it could send your story spiralling into marvelous new directions that you never thought possible.

The only thing you must do is do what thrills you.  Whatever makes you excited about writing; whatever sparks that new-book smell, as it were.  Have fun and good luck.

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