That’s the advice that’s resonated most in these first two weeks of NaNoWriMo. Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, advised writers to just take their characters to the circus when they appear to be getting stale. Or boring. Or lost.
Sounds easy enough. Just chuck your characters into an unexpected situation. Let ’em have some fun.
I’m finding it harder than it sounds. Apparently, I want my characters to wander aimlessly through the forest. And the wrong forest, at that. However, I am writing nearly every day – something I’ve never been much good at doing. Life always seemed to interrupt and take over. And while I’m no longer confident that I’ll manage 50,000 words, I am confident that I can complete a first draft. (I’m also much obliged to Susan B., who is incredibly encouraging on her blog, even if I think she’s being too hard on herself.)
But back to the circus. I am alternating brainstorming in my notebook with typing merrily away on my keyboard, plus a healthy dose of just sitting – or walking – and thinking about my story. I did try following along with Book in a Month, but I must admit, I’m not that diligent. Or amenable to good direction. Reading it was excellent preparation for NaNoWriMo, though, and I heartily recommend it. Maybe I need to send myself to the circus, and just allow myself some more good clean fun.