Week Four: A Short and Sweet Pep Talk

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Week Four: A Short and Sweet Pep Talk


I’ll make this short and sweet. Don’t stop! — We’re in the final stretch.

Yeah, there’s a week and a half left, but now you’re distracted by Thanksgiving or other holiday plans. It’s easy to tell you to “just write,” but we all know that’s easier said than done. So I’m going to let you off the hook. Whether you’re in love with your story or not, remember that this exercise is about word count. It isn’t about perfection. Let everything that pops into our head fall onto the page and work out the edits starting December 1.

Not enough? Really? Ok, here’s a little more. As writers, we want our story, our characters, and our words to be meaningful and profound. But that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re allowing ourselves to allow our stories and characters to do and say and be the things and people that they would otherwise not be. Really, we are allowing ourselves to be what we otherwise would not be as writers.

Serious? You want more? Fine. Remember that stories are never about what happened. Stories are always about people, about the human experience, even if your characters are not human. When something happens, there is a reaction and that reaction is what drives us as writers – the power of falling in love and the powerful disappointment of falling out of love. And that isn’t just “romantic story” talk.

Remember that everything we do is a story of romance, a story of dedication, a dedication to remain the same or to change: The lure of direction begins with desire. The plot is hatched with best behaviors on the first few dates. Once in the relationship, true colors emerge and challenges arise to either justify or discredit the relationship. In the end, the relationship survives or it dies. But wait, that’s not all. If it survives, it reaches another level of challenges to strengthen it. If it doesn’t survive, it has lasting consequences. Consequences can be good and bad (notice I didn’t say “or”). A relationship is never among two people. If you have questions about that, reference Kevin Bacon.

So where’s your story? What are the consequences? Give your characters – no, give your story the freedom to face its consequences. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel and how much richer both your characters and your story will be.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Maria Vargas aka nena171969
NaNoWriMo Participant

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