• Beth Daniels, aka Beth Henderson, J.B. Dane

Where Imagination Meets Words

Just a little more than a week left before November...and the 2016 NANO behind us.

Did you know that percentage-wise, very few writers who take the NANO leap actually bring in 50,000 words within those 30 days?

I mention this because, should you be at the point where the momentum has petered out and this story won't be completely told...or reach that 50,000 word 11:59pm on November 30, you need not despair. You're in good company.

I've launched into NANO more than once and found the story I was attempting to spin had some really big, hidden roots for me to stumble upon along the path. I've probably pulled up short more times than I finished the run to 50,000 words.

On the other hand, I got much further into a story than I was at 12:01am on November 1st.

And, very few of the stories I write are only 50,000 words long. I lean more toward the 90,000+ range, which means 50,000 words barely got me to the middle of a story.

But I've either finished writing those stories after NANO was behind me, or picked up a story begun for one NANO and finished it in another NANO. There is no law that says you can't add on to a manuscript in process, after all, you simply can't count the words you wrote before November 1st should that be what happens.

Sometimes the point where imagination turns into words on a printed page or a computer screen is electric but consider how brief a flash of lightning is. How a Tesla coil can shoot an arch of electricity but that arch doesn't stay still -- it moves.

All the volts generated by your imagination are just like that. They don't solidify into a set storyline until written down. But until they are written down, those ideas can dance, contort, be brief or burn with intensity a bit longer than that lightning flash.

The story can morph, grow, take on a life of its own, but it just might do it at a rate that isn't the one you had in mind.

Time allows story synapses to test the idea, to embroider it. To improve it.

Don't be discouraged if you've fallen behind on the NANO project or come up short when the month wraps up next week.

Just keep working on it.