Monday, November 18, 2013

NaNoWriMo Insanity Part 2

Whew.  It's over the halfway point to the end of NaNo, but for me, I reached the halfway point writing-wise a few days before the 15th when I tipped over 25K words.

Right now I'm hovering close to 40K, which makes me feel all sorts of accomplished.  In fact, I'm scheduled to finish NaNo early (according to their awesome website calculator thingy), and plan on plowing through and finishing with as many words as I can.

But have my feelings changed since I first posted about it?


I'm still on the fence.

Because I'm doing a re-write, I'm having all kinds of continuity issues going on with my new manuscript, and while under normal circumstances I'd go back and fix these things right away, I literally can't do that.  NaNo is about production, plain and simple.

I suppose it would be like mining diamonds--without the forced labor, civil wars, blood, etc.--just get the diamonds out of the earth and we'll cut and polish them later.

And yes, that still drives me crazy.  But that's why I wanted to do NaNo--because it's so different from my normal writing style.  I used to hear (and still do) about authors who write a novel in two months, twelve weeks, three months, short periods of time like that.  And I used to be jealous; how were these people able to write that much in such a short period of time and for them to be okay with the crappy first draft.  But that's just it--it's a "crappy first draft."  There's a saying amongst writers: "You can't fix a blank page." I don't know who said it, but it's true.  If there's nothing down, you can't play with it. You can't pick a better word; you can't change the sentence structure; you can't change the POV.  You need words on a page to do all of that, and I see their point.

I can already tell that I'll be doing more of the "get it down in the Word doc and fix it later" method after NaNo is over, but it'll be a mix of that and my usual too-meticulous (and often too slow) methods as well.  

How about you?  Is your attempt at NaNo going well?  Why/why not?

xoxo Sarah

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Insanity, Part 1

Because I obviously have nothing better to do (you know, like write 2,000 words today), I wanted to write a little bit about NaNo so far.  This blog has always been written in a stream-of-consciousness style, which actually fits pretty well for what I'm going to be doing periodically through this November and NaNo.

This is a new experience for me, and I wanted to do a few entries (no idea how many) that are sort of a "live blog" of it.  They won't be long, and will be about how I'm feeling about NaNo, what I've done so far, how I feel about the experience, and how my feelings are changing about it.

And how do I feel so far? After all, it's been one freaking day.

I absolutely fucking hate it.

Whoa, Sarah!  Those are some strong feelings to have ONE DAY into the challenge!

Yep. But let me explain before you guys break out the pitch forks...

NaNoWriMo goes against EVERYTHING my writing style wants me to do.  My own personal writing style; not something that I picked up somewhere or learned--what feels natural to me.  When I write under normal circumstances, I'm not as concerned getting word count down as much as the quality of said word count...if I manage 500 words then yay--even though it's a low number--but if the way those paragraphs and sentences sound is great to me (at least for a first draft), I'm happy with that.  I'll take an hour and get that four sentence paragraph into shape as much as I can, then move on.  So for me, it's difficult to sit at the computer and type to make words happen on the page and not be at least 90% happy with them in their current state.  I'm pretty sure I hate most of what I wrote yesterday for Day 1, not gonna lie.

But because I hate doing it, this will be a good experience.  NaNoWriMo is pushing me out of my comfort zone as a writer and forcing me to write in a different way.  If it was easy, then everyone would do it.

I read a couple of the tips before starting the was to make a word count goal per day (mine is at least 1,700, but the goal is 2,000), and to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.  In terms of the challenge, that means don't go back and edit what you've just written (other than very minor things), but to keep going and keep the story and manuscript moving.  When the challenge is over and/or when the manuscript is finished, then you can go back and tinker with it.

And that, for me, is the true challenge.

I'm sure my feelings about NaNo will change as I go along and see my manuscript unfold, but for now, I'm going to grumble and make my woefully imperfect word count.

How about you?  What are your feelings about NaNo?  If this isn't your first one, how have your feelings changed over time?

xoxo Sarah