30 September 2010

NaNoWriMo = NaNoNOTMo for me

Let me declare my intentions boldly -- I am NOT participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

It doesn't start for a month, you might say. How can you be so definitive, you ask. You had fun last year, you remind me.

Yes, I know. It was fun. Once. But here's the deal -- I'm still working to whip that 50,000 words into shape. It's about 90K words now and I like maybe the first 50K of them. It took a good number of early mornings to work the section I wrote during NaNo into something viable. The next 40K words need that kind of attention if this story is ever going to be anything. Some of the changes will delve back into that first 50K as well, tightening the plot and the focus.

I can't say I'd never do NaNo again, because never is an awfully long time and an awfully definitive statement. I think it's fair to say it's unlikely I'll do NaNo again. As a writer friend said, when you're done, you have to take a machete to cut out the bad stuff. I think I'm beyond machete-ing to slash-and-burn deforestation. I knew I was writing a lot of crappy words as they went by but the NaNo pace is such that you can't fix them.

Now, I know that NaNo enthusiasts will say that's the point. It's quantity, not quality. But, if you're hoping for a real book when you're done, quality counts.

So, I'll spent November (and October and possibly December as well) continuing to edit and rewrite and revise.


Anonymous said...

I see your point. My NaNo work is still unfinished. And it's shrunk considerably. I think NaNo would be more productive for me if I had already done story planning/character profiles/etc. (No writing that would make the final work though...I'd still follow the rules.) I think I'd retain more words that way, and I'd find that a much more enjoyable editing/re-writing experience. I've got a month to do that work for an idea I have bouncing around my head. Not sure if I'm going to do that work or not.

One thing is for sure, I won't be doing the "just wing it" approach again. Too much waste. Though I did learn a ton. No regrets.

Krista said...

bold, indeed. and here I am thinking that I am ready to try again after taking off last year. you have some good points. and I will probably suffer terribly under the NaNo pace.

at the end, I hope to have a strong outline, some good references, and at least 30% of a good idea fleshed out. we will see how it goes.

good luck continuing to work on your 90K words. you are doing the bigger, harder part of the project now, and just mentioning all the times you get up and write before work gives me inspiration to find a time like that when I just buckle down and write.