NaNoWriMo remorse

Agh!  I’m now at 3000 words when I should be around 15,000!  And it’s not getting any easier.  Why didn’t I pick an easy one, like a James Bondish type book or something along those lines?  Instead I had to pick to do a suspense novel!  What was I thinking!

I’m still grinding away, though, as I try to figure out how to ramp up the suspense.  That’s the hardest part, I think; how to get from here to there.  In a mystery, it’s by clues, but in suspense and thrillers, it’s by getting the character in deeper and deeper.  I read somewhere that a mystery starts with death, and the thriller ends with it.  So that’s the angle I’m working, but how to keep the suspense up until the climax is the hard part I’m trying to learn to do.

Hopefully this weekend I can churn out a bunch of words!

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo remorse

  1. I’m almost as far behind with a meagre 6000 words.

    I usually write screenplays (this is my first novel) but here are a couple of suspense building techniques I’ve learned that might be of help:

    Cross-cutting:

    Build towards two climactic scenes involving different characters. Just as one scene approaches a climax, cut back to the other and build to the climax of that scene. Switching back and forth like this keeps the audience on their toes.

    Alternatively, have two characters on a collision course for confrontation. Cut back and forth between the two and maximize the tension.

    Give the audience information the characters aren’t privy to. It’s like the old Hitchcock adage (some credit it to Capra) about the bomb under the table. Read about it here:

    http://www.sff.net/people/alicia/artsuspense.htm

    Ticking clocks. Time limits are a great device for creating suspense. Just look at the movie Speed. Give your protag a goal and a limited amount of time to achieve it before X happens.

    Just a few thoughts. I’m not sure how much of this applies to novels but maybe it’ll help you out.

    Good luck!

  2. For NaNoWriMo, and really for any first draft, don’t hold yourself down by trying to make the plot ideal. If you later edit it you’ll be tearing out chunks and rearranging everything anyway. The point now is to get ideas in the table — in any form and any order possible. Just gt the ideas out of your head and on the paper (or screen).

    If you just let go and write anything, the crappy ideas will come out first, and for a long while, then the interesting stuff will come. And later you’ll cut out the crappy and keep the good, and rearrange to put the murder at the beginning and build the suspense and so on and so on.

    By later, I mean after November.

    And so, right now, just keep typing. Even typing “This section doesn’t make sense, but what I meant was….” and carrying on from there is fine and good. It’s a draft.

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