NaNo Who Mo?

 In Advice on Writing, Current Projects, Writing

November: the Holy Month for Writers.

Nearly 300,000 word fiends have signed up to global writing fest that is NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month for those not in the know). This year I’m one of them but I’m not aiming to achieve the universal goal of completing a novel that is 50,000 words long in thirty days. My novels are about twice that length and, even for a vomit draft, I’m just not that fast.

No, NaNoWriMo is my Mr Miyagi.

The idea, see, is that I am participating in local write-ins, joining Word Wars and other NaNoWriMo activities to build my speed muscles and slough off inappropriate perfectionism. All this waxing-on and waxing-off is covertly getting my first draft done without me thinking about it too closely. Because my favourite part of the writing process is re-writing. And here’s the trick: you can’t rewrite what you haven’t written.

So instead of pondering the perfect means of turning a noun into an adjective or layering in a little extra foreshadowing or tweaking a character’s motivation for more conflict, I’m just pounding out the story. Some of it is even readable. (As no one ever sees my first draft except me, I’m okay with this.)

Who knows? I may even hit the target. Now, if I can just catch that fly with these chopsticks….



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