Breaking News

Participant Pep Talk from Katherine Y.

Hello Writer,

We're 20 days into November now, and you may feel your story or characters dragging. Here's my advice!

Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need—and doesn’t have to be as far away as you think! If you’re either stuck in a writer’s block, overwhelmed by the word count, or even trying to contemplate a terrible story idea, I can assure you that a change of location can bring you a change of mind.

No one stays in one place forever. Without a change of environment, our lives would become incredibly boring and tasteless. So, let's take the characters somewhere new! 

Let them explore a shady marketplace, a visit to the estranged dentist, or hop on a plane out of nowhere and go on an adventure. Everyone acts differently in all sorts of different situations and environments. For instance, a haunted house may be terrifying to a little boy walking his dog, but it could be a sight for sore eyes to a ghost that's just arrived home after a long vacation. 

And from there, how do these emotions affect the story line? Will it be backstage at the school play, and the lead is freaking out to an extent where she can't go on? Or could it be unexpected? A click of the heels, a puff of smoke, or a cold hand being placed on their shoulder will always leave the reader (and the characters!) on the edge of their seats with suspense! Whatever you write builds a world of fiction. Whether it's how the clouds form three penguins doing cartwheels or buildings that defy gravity all together!

The bottom line is: if the story is stuck anywhere really, shake things up! It's your story! It always helps to move the story along by introducing a new setting.

Some of you Pantsers, Plantsers, or "go-with-the-flow" kind of people are probably giving me two thumbs up! However, I bet those Planners are looking at me as if I have three heads. And that is okay! Everyone thinks differently! After all, if you've got a map then use it. Although, if a dragon happens to light it on fire, then consider a change of place!

This might be the same for you, too. You don’t need to go somewhere as drastic as the characters, but I find taking a walk or working outside will not only give you a breath of fresh air, but perhaps some fresh ideas. Stepping away from the keyboard, and surrounding yourself with a new environment can help flow new thoughts into your head. It may be November, and everyone's bundling up, but recognize that perhaps a walk outside maybe the solution for your writer's block!

Or turn to your community! When I need motivation, I’ll either head to my local library or cafe. There's just something about being surrounded by books that can make you crave to write stories of your own. Or being put into a bustling atmosphere can also be very productive. The adjustments I find help me see things in a new light, and give me inspiration for how I should move forward in my writing.

So this NaNoWriMo, make an effort to go somewhere! Shift your scenery and keep on writing!

photo of Katherine Y.

Katherine Y. is an eighth-grade writer and book geek, located in middle-of-nowhere Connecticut. When she isn’t engrossed in either, she’s performing in plays (preferably Shakespeare), working on Mock Trial or Debate, and talking to her friends about Renaissance faires, books, annoying knock-knock jokes, and who’s taking who for carpool. Her family and miscellaneous others have insisted on her being “dramatic” and “loud,” but really it’s “theatrical” and “projecting.” She wishes that one day she’ll be able to travel the world, and not just through books this time! May NaNoWriMo bring many, many, many words to you all!

View All Breaking News