NaNoNerd It Up: Ginny’s Week Two Challenge

NaNoNerd It Up: Ginny’s Week Two Challenge

Shoutout to Johnny Gray and Lindsay Covington for participating in the week one challenge! You’re just three challenges away from receiving a free Nerd It Up pin!

Well, it’s the dreaded week two: the week where 26% of NaNoWriMo participants drop out of the race. That is not a real statistic, I just made it up. But it sounds true, because I know you’re feeling it, too: the urge to just let it go. But don’t succumb! You’re just days from week three, that glorious week when things start to come together, you see the climax of your plot looming in the distance, and you break into a run towards it, weeping with joy at the prospect of regular showers and food that possesses nutritional value.

But we’re not there yet. You have to make it through week two to get to week three. Which is why for this week’s NaNoNerd It Up challenge, we wanted to help you out with your pressing plot questions (and you’re helping us out with ours!)

Also, because it’s week two and everything sux 5ever, Nicole and I chose to just do written blogs this week, not vlogs. Because ain’t nobody got time for that.

My Question
In last week’s vlog, I posed my pressing novel question to you, which concerned a character that I had accidentally implied to be significant, who was not really a part of the plot yet.

Donovan, noting that she was a “novice,” a rookie, suggested I turn the tables and make this character an “über force” who has taken an interest in my main character. That has a lot of promise!

John suggested that she be instrumental in saving the Sisterhood, which is a cool idea! I hadn’t thought much about what would happen with the Sisterhood after Cassia left. Hm…

Whiteknight suggested I make her a spy for the other side. That’s a very interesting idea, because that implies that she’s not human at all (or she wouldn’t be able to use magic…) Gotta think about that one some more!

Aravan suggested that this character have an adventure all her own that we don’t see happening, but that she meets up with Cassia later and we learn that she’s been on a crazy trip, too! That would be cool, implying that Cassia is not the only one trying to change things.

Thanks for your suggestions, guys! I really appreciate the help, and they are definitely helping me brainstorm some ways to work this character back in!

Your Questions
What pressing plot questions do you have? Let us know in the comments on this post and we’ll try and help you think outside the box to figure them out!

Stuck? Maybe you’d benefit from finding a writing totem. Or maybe you just need to figure out where your priorities are in the writing process. And of course, I really hope you don’t have writer’s block!

Don’t forget to add me as a writing buddy.

About Ginny

Ginny doesn't see the point of anything but cats. She hopes to someday become inflammable. She has a PhD in Horribleness. Her recently overused word is "WOWIE" (usually in caps).


  1. I’m writing a sci-fi where there’s a planet that’s been settled (by humans, no aliens here) for a hundred years. On the hundredth anniversary of the landing, they’re burying a time capsule, only to discover another one buried ninety years previously, containing information that was destroyed in a fire around the time of the capsule.

    Once it’s found, the city gets really on edge – conspiracy theories, mutterings against the government. The only problem is I don’t know why. They’ve just found a chest. Why the semi-revolution?

    • The chest could’ve belonged to a long lost freedom fighter whose last journal was inside the chest, and whoever found the journal doesn’t support the government and sparks a semi-revolution amongst non-government supporters

    • There has to be some sort of horrible secret in the chest. That fire was pretty obviously arson, right? What was the information they were trying to destroy? Maybe they’ve been told forever that this planet was a colonization attempt as earth was dying, and that earth is dead and gone, but maybe they learn that earth is totally fine and they’re isolated from earth on purpose. Or maybe the colonization was actually for some sort of terrible experiment and ninety years before, some people found out and revolted, and they were silenced.

  2. I am writing a scfi fi novel this year. My main character is introduced to this new VR game that’s kind of a mix between Second Life and the Matrix. Basically, the “game” is transmitted into the player’s mind, with many different locations, or “worlds.” The problem is, when you log out, if you happen to be touching an NPC (Non-Player Character), that NPCs file is stuck in your head, and they basically control your body. You can communicate mentally with this file, which will speak and act like whatever it was in the game. What I need are ideas for a way to wrestle control back from this file.

    • It could literally be like that doctor who episode: The Crimson Horror. (SPOILER ALERT FOR THAT EPISODE, DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVENT SEEN IT YET)

      Where the doctor has to fight for control of his mind against a cyber man who has invaded it. So it could be like a mental challenge between the NPC and characters over who gets control over the brain.

    • I think Donovan is totally on the right track; it can be a test of mental strength in some way. A popular way to give humans strength over machines is emotion, and since it’s in their mind, you could utilize memories as a good character development trait AND method of gaining dominance over the NPC brain-invader.

  3. Okay, so one of my most pressing plot points comes at the end. One of my characters, John, has been missing for five years, since before the book started. Everyone basically thinks he’s dead.

    I’m trying to figure out why he’s missing. It’s either because the psychopath had kidnapped him in order to get his plans in motion, or because he disappeared to get away from the psychopath.

    There are pros and cons to both of these options. With the kidnapping, it’s highly illogical that John would stay in some sort of hostage situation for five years, since he would absolutely be able to get out. However, with the disappearance, suddenly, my psychopath has much less collateral to force people to do what he wants.

    The continuation of these explanations are much more complex, of course, and there are infinite nuances with both options, so I guess I’m wondering…is there a third option? Why else could John have disappeared, and where did he go? And why, after five years, is he about to resurface?

    • He was taking a walk and fell and hit his head, causing him to forget who he is. He also wasn’t carrying identification, or had something that he thought was important that wasn’t. Like he had a business card for a mechanics shop a few hundred miles away, and thought that maybe he was going to apply for a job there.

    • I suppose he could have been kidnapped by the psychopath and developed Stockholm, leading him to identify with his captor and remain their partially voluntarily. After five years, he witnesses his captor do something he can’t reconcile with Stockholm and finally decides to escape. Maybe? Hope this helps :)

    • He could’ve spent those five years planning ways to kill/capture the psychopath and had to hide for those five years in case the psycho found him before his plans were complete, and now after those five years of planning, he is finally ready to come out and kill/arrest the psycho. Hope this helps! Good luck with your writing!

  4. So while writing, I have encounter a very big plot related problem:

    I accidentally didn’t kill of a very important side character that needs to die. I would go back and change it, but because of how it’s written, it’s damn near impossible… In order to set the scene I shall outline how he was supposed to die and why he didn’t.

    He was supposed to die in a house fire lit by assassins, or be killed by one of said assassins then set fire to his house and make it look like he was killed in the house fire. BUT I misjudged all manner of things and as it turns out, he was barley hurt in that turn of events and the main character nearly died… So of someone could recommend another way of dealing with this guy other then re-writing that whose section, that would be most appreciated. Best of luck with all your writing!

    • So he didn’t get killed off by assassins… the first time. Maybe the assassins are really determined to kill him for whatever reason you have, and come back to finish the job off. OR, in a twist of irony, he could miss being killed by assassins and prompty be killed by something completely unexpected and mundane– gets hit by a bus, gets a piano dropped on his head, etc. That could be horrible but with a hint of humor, depending on your story. Hope this helps :)

  5. This NaNoNerd It Up thing is awesome :D Good luck to everyone participating in this madness! Help me out?

    SUPER basic plot summary: there five alien species all killing each other. There’s one resistance group that wants peace, and they’re sending a group of six teenagers in to destroy the weapon supply of one of the militant groups. The group is as follows:

    Mila: the main character, so it can’t really be her :P She’s very loyal and trustworthy, and always tries to put others first.

    Thalia: super duper brilliant. She’s not a strong fighter, but she’s a science and math expert. Her older brother is a loyal peacekeeper who was injured by militant groups.

    Karie: the best fighter. Her parents were members of the militant groups and she was repulsed by them, joining the resistance to atone for them.

    Arond: flirty and flighty– he may seem like the last person you want on a team, but he’s extremely charming and good at deception. He has a younger sister he wants to protect.

    Russe: also primarily a fighter. He can come off as very abrasive and even cruel, but is loyal to the utmost and will do anything to defend his teammates.

    Jase: an expert on the cultures of the different races. He’s extremely opinionated and argumentative. He doesn’t logically believe the races can co-exist, and isn’t even sure himself why he fights for the resistance.

    I designed all of them to honestly care about their cause, and now that I want a traitor, I have no idea who it should be! Who is the traitor, and why would they turn against their friends?

    • Of the characters you listed, I can see Thalia being the one to turn.

      Maybe after her brother was hurt, she didn’t want peace, she wanted to seriously injure the ones who hurt him.

      Being a genius, she could probably rationalise anything, both to herself and others, and in her own twisted way could have convinced herself that this is what’s best for herself and her friends.

      • Ooh, that’s really interesting! And it actually would add a lot more depth to her character… I think she might be the one I go with. Thanks :D

    • I think you could make Jase the traitor. He could come to the realisation that there is no logical way that all races can co-exist peacefully and he just wants out so he can live his life. It could be one of those moment where he just cracks like in the middle of a mission at the worst moment possible, but yeah, sounds like an awesome book with great characters and plot.

      • That make a fair amount of sense. I’m a little bit afraid it would be too obvious if he was the traitor (especially since he would be the first one my MC would suspect) but there might be a way I could make it work… thanks!

    • You could make Arond the traitor. Perhaps his sister is being threatened if his doesn’t?

    • I think you have Arond and Jase set up a little too obviously for it. I agree that Thalia should be the traitor because it’s unexpected. But because Arond and Jase seem so likely, you can set up some really compelling red herrings!

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