Day One of NaNo. I wrote 600 words before breakfast. Yay me! And now it’s six hours later and I’m yawning and my word count hasn’t gone up at all. Instead I’ve moved a bunch of books and some furniture around, as if neatening my environment will do the same to my mind.


I do know why I got stuck–two reasons that get me every time. First, I started down a wrong path. My character arrives in town and reacts by thinking that it’s a dump, a horrible little place. Nope. That’s the wrong tone for him, not who he should be. One little line and my brain dead-ends. No more words for three hours until I figure out that I’ve gone off course.

Next up, well, he’s arrived in town, never been there before, doesn’t know it… that means description. It means writing something about where he is and what he’s looking at. I should invent some special description writing practice, like some mental form of abdominal crunches, to get myself better at writing description. Not just any description, but description that satisfies me.

What I like in description is the one line that means everything. So not a list of green trees and this store and that store and lots of physical stuff, but the quick reference. Hmm, I might be getting it. (It was Main Street USA. Not the Disney version, but the real thing. Any Town, America, with faded paint and dusty windows, but businesses that looked healthy and thriving.)

Eh, I’m not really getting it. But I’m headed back to it. Knowing that I’m stuck because of description and knowing that it is NaNoWriMo adds up to — if I don’t get it, I’ll stick a placeholder in (describe his environment! throw in some contextual embedding!) and move on. I should easily be able to get 1000 words out of his arrival at Maggie’s bistro without worrying too much about how he gets there.

If you’re playing NaNo, too, I hope you’re off to a better start than I am!