Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm a Winner! (NaNoWriMo)


This was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (more formally National Novel Writing Month). I did attempt a novel once when I first graduated from college. Before that I only did short stories and poetry and I was convinced I was an extremely talented writer who would be famous for my novels some day.

But trying to write a novel killed me as a writer. I never wrote any fiction after that ever again until this month. (So it's been 33 years - wow.)

I'm not sure what the deal is with novels but I found them much harder than just writing a longer short story or writing several short stories strung together and trying to do a novel convinced me that I didn't have the talent to be a writer so I stopped writing except for work and my blog and message boards all of which are non-fiction.

Isn't that sad?

I think that's why the NaNo people came up with this idea of writing a novel in a month with little or no editing. The idea of both writing every day no matter what even if it's only 200 words and the idea of just writing, writing, writing and worrying about editing later when your first draft is done intrigued me. I have to say that I'm totally sold on this way of writing now when the no editing part scared me before I started and I wasn't 100% on board with that part on Nov. 1st. Actually, the writing every day part scared me a bit too and I did have to force myself to do that at first.

But now I've decided I'm going to write every day from now on even if it's just a blog entry.

I have an idea for another book and this one I'm going to plan out more than what I wrote for NaNo and it's not like I didn't stop at some point this month and do some organization for what I wrote this time. But for the most part I didn't worry about things being out of order or inconsistencies in the text like I normally do and, as a result, I have 66,695 words written with more coming.

I just never expected that. I expected it to be so hard and to barely be able to make my word count and for most of what I wrote to be junk and have to be thrown out.

I wonder how much not having to throw much of it out has to do with writing on an iPad. I switched to a laptop for Thanksgiving weekend and I find with the iPad, that I am much more compact in my writing and less apt to go one step too far and then feel like I've over described something or explained what the reader should be inferring.

So for my next project, I will create the world and main characters ahead of time but then I plan to just write, write, write again and see what happens. I'm also going to get Scrivener on the iPad when it comes out.

I'm so excited! I had stopped writing except technical writing decades ago after my failed novel attempt and now I feel like I've gotten a part of me back that I had lost.
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