4 Ways to Rekindle Your Enthusiasm for Your Novel09:00
It’s the fourth week of Camp NaNoWriMo, and writers are either getting excited about approaching the ends of their books, or wondering why they started their books in the first place. Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of writing a book, I start seeing all the flaws in my book, thinking about how much work it’s going to take to make it readable, and get the urge to throw my hands in the air and give up. It’s at times like this that I need to rediscover my excitement in this book. I have several ways to re-find that excitement. Here are four of them:
1. Talk about your book with a friend
Having other people show an interest in my book sometimes rekindles my enthusiasm. Telling someone about all the cool things I’ve put in the plot can sometimes spark a memory of just why I was excited to write the book. It could be a character. It could be a particular scene. Maybe it was a plot situation. I often talk to my sister Charlotte about whatever book I’m writing, and her interest in them encourages me to keep writing, no matter how bad the book seems to me.
2. Make a list what you like about the book
When talking to someone else isn’t possible, or I need a daily reminder of why I liked the story in the first place, I make a list of all my favourite things about the project. I might love one of the characters, or a witty bit of dialogue. I write them down, focusing on actively looking for the good in my book rather than dwelling on the bad bits. It can be a good idea to print the list out and put it where you can see it easily so that you have a constant reminder of what you like about the book.
3. Find pictures related to your book
Taking a short break from writing and doing something else connected to my book can sometimes spark fresh enthusiasm. When I’m having a bad writing day, sometimes I take half an hour and look for pictures of characters, settings and objects from my book. Finding pictures that suit my project often makes me excited about writing my book again as I start to visualise the story.
4. Read some of your book
My sister Charlotte, who also writes, suggested that it can be helpful to read through part of your book when you’re down about your writing. You may find that the book is as bad as you remembered, but there is a high chance that you’ll actually find that there are lots of good bits in it. It’s easy to have a negative view on your project, and reminding yourself of what you actually wrote can be very reassuring. Plus, seeing how good it actually is can be encouraging.
Writer Nora Roberts once said “You can fix anything but a blank page” and I think that’s very true. The first draft of your book isn’t going to be perfect. It’s going to have plot holes, boring characters and pages of waffling. But something got you excited enough about this story to make you start writing it. If it was worth starting this book, then it’s worth finishing it too. You can fix the problems and make it shine later, but only if you first finish it. If your book seems terrible at the moment, it’s worth stopping to remember what it is you loved about this story. Because your story is worth getting excited about.
What is one thing you like about your novel? If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, how are you getting on? Have you got any suggestions about how to rekindle excitement toward a project?