#NaNoWriMo Day 18: Frustration and Breaking Through Negative Thinking


Day 18
Word count: 34,783 words
Word count goal: 36,000 words
Mapping the Hero’s Journey: Reaction to Reward
Save The Cat: All Is Lost (old way of thinking dies/ false defeat)

#vss very short story

Quimby munched on his free fry. Every day, he walked to the Monster Burger, hoping he would get there first. They were always polite and nice and handed him a french fry, but they were always fresh out of monsters.

Plotting with Tarot

Today I went off script. I wanted to continue exploring the death of my character’s old way of thinking.

Reaction to Reward

Reaction to Reward: Eight of Pentacles- success through work

Does he feel he deserves the reward and where does that feeling come from: Six of Swords upside-down- Paralyzed by fear. You are trying to distance yourself from your problems and make a fresh start but you do not seem to be making any progress.

What does his Reaction to Reward spur him to do: Five of Swords- he is paralyzed by fear, but will break through negative thinking.

My interpretation: This reading made me laugh out loud. I can see a pretty clear pattern and theme. My MC gets rewarded and his reaction? Now he is free to get back to work! The next card makes me think that he is not sure if he deserves the reward because he has so much on his to-do list that he doesn’t believe he has really accomplished enough, or will ever accomplish enough. Receiving this reward, spurs him to break through his patterns of negative thinking.

Ask Your Character

inspired by The Me Journal: A Questionnaire Keepsake by Shane Windham

  • What things do you wish did not exist?
  • How do you break the ice with strangers?
  • What would you buy with a million dollars?

Word Of The Day

insouciance: n. lack of care or concern: indifference

8 Action Verbs:

applied               coded               debated               executed

informed            named             reported             summarized

Poem prompt

What frustrates you? Do a mind map about frustration. Does your mind map remind you of any of your characters? Use your mind map to guide a poem about frustration from either your POV or a character’s POV.

mind map frustration

Pay Attention

bang, hit, throw
they laugh
why are they laughing?
this is all I know
it worked before

scream, hurt, destroy
they laugh and say
“isn’t that cute?”
“he’s such a boy”
my lungs are sore

cheeks soaked in tears
and red with rage
they now ignore
turning to their peers
I sit in my filth

Awesome Sentence Challenge

Look at a chunk of dialogue from yesterday. Try to pare down 20%. Is it tighter? Does it still sound realistic? More realistic?

Today’s Simple Task

MC’s frustration: Another character breaks his or her trust. How will your main character overcome his or her mounting frustration?

Warm-up Exercise

Set your timer for 10 minutes. You have taken a picture of your Main Character. You hand it to him or her. Have your MC respond to the picture in their own words. Do they feel it is a good likeness? How do they feel about how they look?

Recommended Word Crawl

Howl’s Moving Castle Word Crawl

I admit, I wanted an excuse to watch Howl’s Moving Castle again.

Writer’s Life

Though today’s theme is about your character’s frustration and need to break through negative thinking, you may also want to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? I noticed some negative thinking getting through yesterday. Those stupid meanies in my head that tell me the writing isn’t good enough and I’m not good enough.

Those meanies have to go! They are no good for me or anyone. So how will I combat them? By doing some things that make me feel good. I did the dishes while I waited on the tea kettle and after I finish this, I’m going to get some good exercise; really work those negative thoughts out of my body and mind. Then I’ll wash them away with a relaxing shower.

I hope you can find a fun way to get rid of your frustrations and negative thinking today. And don’t forget to reward yourself for accomplishing all your small goals along the way.

Happy Reading and Writing!