This post was originally published in 2008. Some dated references may have been changed. You can find the original here.
Take a few deep breaths.
You made it.
While that fact resonates for a few minutes, realize that not only did you survive the second week, but you also reached the halfway point. Today is plunk-dab in the middle of the month. It’s all downhill from here. Even week 4, with it’s frantic pace and ticking clock, shouldn’t be as hard as week 2 was.
Over on AW, week 3 has been coined as “the week most likely for your novel to change genres.” In No Plot, No Problem! Chris Baty described week 3 as magical time when writing becomes fun again, almost to the point of nirvana. Things are going to snowball. All those knots you untangled last week are going to tie together, and you will find yourself as close to the novel as you will ever get.
However. This is also when your support group will falter. Friends and family are tired of putting up with you. Outlines dried up days ago. As you head into week 3, keep these things in mind, and here are some tips to help you along.
Don’t get lazy. With everything flowing, you may be tempted to rest a day, to pace yourself, to meander dreamily to the finish line. Don’t. Continue to write every day. Continue to meet your word count. Play catch up, and focus on reaching the 30K mark – if you can hit 30K, you can make it.
Go with the flow. If you had an outline, last week likely destroyed it. That’s fine. If you find main characters trading places, plot elements twisting without warning, or yes, even your genre changing – go with it. To quote Chris Baty, “This is the time to fly.”
Don’t revert. Don’t re-read what you’ve written. Ignore your inner editor. Don’t try to write something good, or pretty, or articulate. Don’t get so attached to your novel that you want to get it right! Not now, not in week 3. You’ll just spoil the moment.
Again, I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to read, and for sharing their stories. How are your novels coming? I'd like to continue with the interview question exercises, and school holidays are coming up, so maybe this blog will get more active then.
Brave smiles everyone, good luck, and happy writing!
- Creative A