Novel 1, Day 11: NaNoWriMo Preptober & My Battle With Perfectionism Rears Its Ornery Head Again

T. Cole Williams Idea Cove, My Noveldom Quest, NaNoWriMo 2019, Novel 1 Leave a Comment

I decided to restart my Noveldom journey on October 1st for two reasons:

1) it coincided with my #90LOVE Rising campaign (which you can learn more about over here), and

2) it would perfectly align the start of this year’s NaNoWriMo campaign with my Noveldom blog posting days (aka, November 1, 2019 = Friday).

So for the last week I’ve been laying the ground with prep work.

Character bios, story arc concepts, plot twists, plot dips, potential beginnings and – even more chaotic – potential endings, you name it, I’m exploring it!

So far, I’ve racked up 16,211 words in character development alone (words that go unaccounted for in my sidebar word tracker).

I feel like I know my characters’ motivations, but I also feel concerned if I’m doing them justice.

Like, is my hero the best version of herself she could be? Not in the sense that she does all the push-ups, but is she has flawed and fanciful as I can make her?

*sigh* Perfectionism is a bitch.

Check Out My
NaNoWriMo Prep Strategy

By day 6, I could feel my perfectionist paralysis setting in, synapsis by synapsis, fiber by fiber, atom by atom.

I was becoming one with infinite possibility and the unknowable.

I had to find a way to shut that shit down.

I was only on day 6!

And already I was second-guessing, doubling back, and deleting chunks of writing that could’ve been gold if only I’d let it simmer for a day or two more.

So I had to shut that shit down…

I decided to do some meditation and get back to the root of why I write fiction to begin with.

Here’s what I’ve got mentally playing on repeat while I continue to prep:

  • Fall In Love & Stay There

When I find myself wondering if my work is “good enough” (whatever in the societal construct hell that means), I pull myself back toward love.

Do I love what I’m creating?

Do I love who my characters are and what problems they’re facing?

Would I love to read this story?

If I answer yes to all of the above, then I continue with whatever I’m doing.

If I answer no to any of the above, then I assess why I’m not in love with what I’ve created and I change it.

  • Release Financial Expectations

I write fiction because I love fiction, sure, but I’m also doing it because I want to become a full-time professional who makes a profitable living from it, which means I spend way too much time wondering if my work will be good enough to actually make a profit.

BUT, I’ll never discover if my work can turn a profit if I never finish the work.

So for now, I need to focus on completing my novels because I enjoy writing novels.

My work is no longer dependent on financial success; instead I am focused on emotional success.

Am I proud of what I’ve created, even if it never makes a dime?

  • Make Everything Epic

I’m concerned that I might miss something, that I might end up writing a book where the first thing a reader thinks is, “why didn’t she do it like this instead?”

It’s the primary reason I get caught in the perfectionist whirlpool.

But I’m counteracting this feeling by taking the time to jot down every possible scenario I can think of that could lead to different outcomes.

For example: my protagonist could be an orphan, or have witnessed her parents die, or could be adopted. Instead of just running with a gut feeling that might leave me questioning my decision later, I’m exploring all options now to decide which I think is most entertaining.

I thought this would be tedious and boring, but that’s what Preptober is all about: PREPARATION! And, so far, taking the time to make everything more epic has been extremely rewarding.

Here Are My

It’s day 11 and I still have a lot to do for Preptober. Here’s what’s on my plate for next week:

  • Finalize Character Profile Images
  • Create a Timeline of Events
  • Create Villain Bio Sheets
  • Brainstorm Potential Endings
  • Create Sub-Character Bio Sheets
  • Create List of Potential Plot Points

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