NaNoWriMo Week Two: Harry Potter to the Rescue

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNo Week Two is in full swing and although each year during Week One I think I won’t fall victim to the writerly slump Chris Baty, in No Plot? No Problem! calls “a black howler of a tempest,” each year, I’m wrong.

I won’t go into all of the reasons I think that Week Two is harder, but I will say that it’s where I start to struggle with deepening my work-in-progress, where the characters fumble around in feeble attempts to get to know one another and where the muse that dropped the unexpected plot bombs in my story takes off without any hints as to how to put out the resultant fires.

This is when I most need support—which I like to find in the form of those who have walked the walk, successfully, before me. Searching for solutions to my own writing inadequacies, I stumbled upon this plot outline from J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series fame. This is from her fifth book, Order of the Phoenix, and illustrates her method for keeping up with all of the plots and subplots her book entails. Literary Rambles has a detailed post, where Rowling’s musings are discussed in depth if you’re interested in a little inspirational research.

Click here for larger pic: Order of the Phoenix, originally published on

Findings like these are the small things that help me when I’m losing my motivation during large writing projects such as NaNoWriMo. For now, I’m sticking with it, because foolish or not, I believe Chris when he says, “(B)efore you know it, Week Two will be a distant memory. The sun will be shining again, the way will be clear, and the writing will be fun once more.”

How do you get through Week Two? Let me know in the comments below. And I’ll see you on the other side!


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