A few weeks ago my youngest and I transplanted my lemon tree into a new pot. Every year we get one HUGE lemon from this tree and I was excited that the one lemon I had-pollinated, still clung to the branch.
Low and behold, when Carolina and I moved our tree, it rejoiced and burst out in blossoms all over!
Yahoo! More hand-pollination for me to do! The promise of more lemons!
But this growth got me to thinking. I take very good care of my southern plants. I have two orange trees, a clementine, a lime and two lemons. I have a couple of hibiscus and I’m even growing ginger (three pots full). Still, my lemon needed more love than I had given it. It needed room to breathe and stretch. And when I gave the tree what it needed, I was rewarded with blossoms.
This is sorta like our stories. Here we are, writing with our heads down, trying to get a specific number of words each day. This is exactly what we should do during NaNoWriMo. And at this point, we should be in the just-after-the-beginning of the middle of our novels. That horrible awful icky yucky-ducky place that I slog through every time I write a book. We might be feeling a little stuck. Or root-bound.
Why not shake things up a little? Loosen the roots of your book. Allow your story to blossom. How? By asking yourself a few questions. Here are a few that may shake things up for you.
- Am I allowing my character to move the plot or an I forcing the story to go the way I want it to?
- Am I adding far too many characters? Too many subplots? Too many useless words just to make word count?
- Am I feeling a forward movement in the story or have I gotten stuck because of wrong moves made in previous pages?
- Do I trust myself, my story idea, my creativity, my characters to move the story toward the climax of the novel?
- Do I know where I am headed? (By now, I think you should know what the climax of the story will be.)
- For the sake of numbers, am I adding useless bits and pieces that may throw me off course during revision?
Hopefully these questions will give you an idea of how to grow a bit more during this exciting month of NaNoWriMo. And I mean that. This month should be a growing month, an exciting month, a frustrating-but-I-did-it, fun month!