Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Do you feel insecure over NaNoWriMo?

It's time for my IWSG post. You can join or follow other writers in our group: HERE

I decided to post this a little early because last time I forgot to post it until the evening when everyone was done with IWSG. *rolls eyes at self* 

Seeing as it’s National Novel Writing Month, I thought I’d talk about the insecurity surrounding it. For those who don’t know, NaNo is held in November and it’s a challenge to write at least a 50K word novel (or at least finish that much of your novel.) If you complete this task, you are a NaNo winner. The fun part is that you can get in on a lot of mutual support among all the struggling writers. Visit the site for more information.

I completed this once back in 2009 and found it to be a good exercise in letting go of that internal editor. The biggest fear for many is that they are writing crap and it's all going to be for nothing. Well, the truth is most likely you are writing crap, BUT...there is no such thing as wasted writing. Even if your story turns out to be a muddled mess, you are still gaining in characterization, ideas and world building (for us SF/Fantasy writers) So even if you can’t use your NaNo novel once this is all done, there is going to be something good that will come out of it.

People who have detailed outlines before November have the best chance of writing something more useable, but even if you don’t something valuable will come form it. 

In my case, I didn’t end up using a lot of my Nano novel, but it did bring out the ideas and later resulted in the sequel to my Vallar series. Of course, I had difficulties with my Nano novel too. Did I ever learn how to push past plot holes whether it made sense or not. Anything to keep up the word count! Also the funny thing that happened at the end was I had momentum and was turned into some sort of writing machine that took a long time to slow down. Sort of like a race horse taking a long time to slow down at the end of a race.  *whinny*

I know everyone is thinking why didn’t you do it this time? I'm working full time now and I'm in that sandwich generation where the middle aged person (me) is taking care of everyone both young and old. But now that I recall that momentum..well….maybe next year.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The momentum is a good thing if you still need to write more of your manuscript to finish. I came out of it both times with another 25,000-30,000 words to write and finished in about three weeks.
That's cool the first time led to your series!

Pat Dilloway said...

I only officially did Nano once, which was last year. I don't have time to worry about it this year.

Donna McDine said...

I have never been brave enough to tackle NaNo. I should jump in even though I'm a few days late. Good luck!

Angela Wooldridge said...

I've never nano-ed, I get scared off by the small print so it's interesting to read your experience of it. Maybe next year I should just jump in so I can see what it's like.

Gina Gao said...

I've never officially done NaNo, just because I've never had time to.


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

That's a tough situation to be in, Cindy. I'm finding myself more and more taking care of my parents. I tried to do nano but quickly fell off the bus. However, I plan to pick it up later. So much to do and life is so busy these days.

Carrie-Anne said...

I officially joined NaNo for the very first time this year, and came so close to 75,000 words. The book is still far from completed, but I'm proud I was able to write so much of it. I naturally write very prolifically, very quickly, though I really want to call shenanigans on the people claiming they wrote the first 50K within the first 24 hours, or who wrote up to a million words within the month. How do you do that without cheating or lying? And wouldn't they rather slowly write a book and focus on the emotional journey, rather than force themselves to spew it all out as quickly as possible?