There's a reason that week two is considered hump week, the Tuesdays (or Wednesdays, if your weekdays start on Monday) of NaNoWriMo. It is the week where that initial rush, the motivation and excitement starts wearing a little down, where the daily struggle of 1,667 words seems more and more daunting, you are (theoretically) a quarter of the way(ish) through your plot, your protagonist has maybe begun their adventure, passed an obstacle or two, and you're meant to be writing the meat of the story.
Or, if you're a pantser like me who was writing random things everyday and then stumbled upon what seemed to be a good idea, you've just realized what it truly means to have no plan.
Fantasy worlds, it seems, need planning. Did you know?
It's so daunting. It's immensely difficult. I know, I know, that's obvious, anyone who thinks its easy to write a novel in a month is insane.
But damn did it hit me hard week two. I literally pulled out all the stops, all the tricks of NaNo. When I could not (see, did it there, good rule of NaNo: abandon all contractions to help increase word count) write the story itself, I wrote what I wanted to happen to try and help me get back into the plot. Gentle reminder: I am winging it, which means, I do not really have a plot set, which means:
I used as many words as humanly possible getting introspective, because I assumed that the character asking questions meant maybe my brain would find answers and write them the next day (this did not work all the time... and by all the time I mean 90%). I introduced a beloved character named Cliff Brooks, a NaNoWriMo veteran whose sole purpose is to get killed in people's novels. I languidly took my time with him, gave him a backstory, made him mildly sympathetic, found a way to connect him to the story in some way, and then killed him while luxuriating in the details of said death.
I ended up abandoning the plot i had fallen in love with back in day five around day 12, when my brain ran out of ways to write words and the story itself stagnated (see: introduction of not one, but two new characters) as opposed to moving anything forward. Instead, I tried to start another story. And when that failed, another. And when that failed, all that was missing was adding "Dear diary" and i would have been the perfect pre-pubescent teenager in the nineties. And when even THAT did not work, I dug deep into the depths of my memories, and revived ghosts of my past and the feelings that they stirred within me and turned to my most trust companions: weird, wordy, magical realism infused writing. I do not know how long I will be able to bet on this last horse, but at this very treacherous halfway point, I'll take any horse that'll move.
I am proud of all of you who are doing this, on track to winning or not, and you should be proud of yourself too.