Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pre NaNoWriMo

Ah, nothing like autumn. Summer heat gives way to a refreshing crispness in the air. Turning leaves offer glorious color for the eyes and an earthiness for the olfactory senses. Pumpkin pie, football, jack-o-lanterns, and candy corn. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.

Are you getting your NaNo on?

I’m not sure if I am or not. Making good progress on the current WIP, I’m not sure I want to stop and change gears. And there’s last year’s NaNo project waiting to be dealt with. But other ideas swirl around the brain. Articles on NaNoWriMo keep popping up and I start to see merits in going for it. I do love the idea of the thing - write, write, write and don’t worry about editing. You can fix it later. The month is pure word count with a rough draft to show by December 1.

Everyone has their own way to go about this writing marathon. The most common way to take a zero editing approach. That actually can be refreshing. If word count is the driving force, editing is the roadblock. It hinders momentum. For eleven months of the year, my daily word count is hampered by my self-editor. During November, I freely and wantonly let the words flow. Rather than nitpick and constantly correct, when trouble arises, I start the sentence over and proceed. It’s such a rapid way to produce that I try to write that way the rest of the year. But that little self-editor really is a pain in the tush. By the middle of January he returns, digging in deep like winter, slowing me down.

There is also the panting vs plotting argument. Taking time out to plan out the novel slows the actual writing. I am becoming more of a believer in the plotting approach. Rambling for page after page may add to word count in the first draft, but leads to hard choices in the revision stage. Now is the time to figure out those major plot twists and character traits.

To NaNo or not, that is the question. Am I ready to ignore family and responsibilities and plunk out 1700 words a day? I’ve never achieved the NaNoWriMo  50,000 goal, but each year I’ve ended with a solid start to a new story. I could live with that.

(This article also posted at

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