NaNoWriMo: What If My Ideas Ran Out and I Can’t Finish?

Words in the Dark: Post 4

On November 18th, I was asked by a NaNo writing buddy what to do in this situation:

So, I’ve had writer’s block and I don’t think my thoughts on my new story are developed enough to write it out. I’m only at about 14,000 words in NaNoWriMo. I’ve taken the last two days to reflect and I really don’t think I’m going to make 50,000 this year. But I’ve already signed up and started. Do I just stop and leave it, or what happens?

First of all, this person is already 14,000 words ahead of where she was. Fifty thousand words are by no means a requirement. Writing at any rate is moving forward. Any number of words at the end of NaNoWriMo means the month was a success. Most importantly, did you have fun?

If I were in this situation (and I have been), I would consider that I have these two options:

  1. Force the words. Write down anything that comes to mind to ensure word count, but at the expense of a greater editing headache later (especially substantive editing, repetition, etc.).
  2. Continue to develop the story and write it down as it comes naturally, even if it means not reaching 50K on November 30th.

What would you recommend? If you have tried NaNoWriMo, what kinds of experiences have you had? What say you? Leave me a comment!

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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