Best. Pep Talk. Ever.

One of the reasons that it’s better to do NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo than write a novel in any month of the year is the community feeling of I’m not writing alone, if all these other thousands of people can do it then so can I. Another reason is the weekly pep talks.

Yesterday’s, I think, was particularly brilliant. The idea was a personalised pep talk: you were given a list of things to think of…

  1. An awesome superhero name
  2. Adjective describing your main character
  3. Your favorite snack
  4. The last verb your main character enacted
  5. The manufacturer of your favorite snack
  6. The first piece of dialogue in your story that starts with ‘You…’
  7. Your current word count
  8. Adjective describing your inner editor
  9. Adjective describing your best friend
  10. Your favorite supporting character in your Camp project
  11. The last piece of dialogue in your story that ended with an exclamation point
  12. How much time you last spent writing
  13. Your favorite mythological creature
  14. Your favorite author
  15. Write a sentence beginning with the words “Once upon a time”
And then you inserted them into the pep talk in the appropriate numbered gaps. This is what I ended up with:
Once, there lived a writer, known throughout the lands as (1)The Authoress. This writer was seized by inspiration one July, and struck out to tell the tale of one known only as “The (2)Determined One.”
The first two weeks were full of wonder. Fueled by (3)chocolate digestives, the writer generated conflicts like vast thunderstorms, and characters so real they jumped off the page only to (4)write you right in the face. (5)McVities, now aware of the crucial role they played in this writer’s story-spinning, swelled with pride and told the writer, “(6)You can’t leave me housekeeper-less, Kerla!
Alas, not all was so rosy. After hitting (7)20,854 words, the writer remembered their last pang of doubt. What if they became blocked once again? What if their story was silly? Maybe… maybe it would be better to stop. They looked into the mirror, and the face they saw seemed almost (8)stupid.
At the writer’s darkest moment, a/an (9)awesome voice arose. “Hey, you can do this,” it said. “If you don’t, how will we ever find out what happens to (10)Felwin? I don’t want to live in a world with that kind of empty hole. Don’t stop now.”
The writer nodded, saying “(11)I can’t just leave it! No matter how far away from my word-count goal I am, I promise to write for at least (12)the majority of the day a day.”
With that, a rainbow sprang across the sky like a (13)dragon racing toward the newest novel by (14)Kristin Cashore. The world seemed to hold its breath, waiting for the writer’s next sentence. The writer smiled, took a deep breath, and wrote “(15)Once upon a time there lived a dragon called Hubert who was a very misunderstood dragon…”

Credit goes to Tim Kim, (Camp) NaNoWriMo’s editorial director, for the writing of this pep talk.

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