Monday, November 11, 2013

How I Do NaNoWriMo

  The whole idea of National Novel Writing Month is to write recklessly and with abandon, churning out a whitewater rapids of words; so that when you reach the end of November you have A) more words in one piece than you've had before, and B) something to start rewrites on with the goal of eventually honing a novel out of the midst of it.
  This can be a good thing if you are a "slush" writer, one who writes junk and then sifts it for the good things. But if you're a more "only good things, though slowly" kind of writer, getting that kind of volume actually messes up your creative potential.
 I've run across many people who say that writing total drivel en masse in the hopes of cleaning up later and finding something good... doesn't work for them.

   This is a good point.

  I, too, found that sheer quantity isn't useful... (or hard, for me; quality is what makes me sweat! Wink ) so I limit myself to only writing keeping-worthy words.
    Yes, I know how that sounds!
       But here's how it works: I do not have a daily goal, just a monthly one.
  I try to focus on coming up with some really good chunks of time to write great ideas before they dissipate, and go for 2,000-5/6000 per inspiration. For November I put writing first, and squirrel away from other "entertainments".

     By the end of the month my creativity is flagging, but I push for a few more sprints on scenes I already know need written, and I have always finished over goal. Usually, I don't stop just 'cause I've reached 50k, but kind of coast on til the end; and then give myself a writing free month of December!

     (I don't take it, but it's a nice feeling for a few days to just be like "No Writing! No writing anywhere!!") Wink

    What do you think? Does wildly NaNoing sound like it'd work for you?


Kelsey Bryant said...

A very sensible post on NaNo! I fall in the camp of writers who wants to write "only good things, though slowly" and thus find writing junk messes me up. It was very interesting to read about the way you do NaNo. I liked hearing about a different method.
I've been trying to produce more this month than usual, but since I don't have a specific motivation, I've been spending time doing other things as well (important things, I might add, but things that could be put off :) ) so maybe next year I can figure out a gameplan similar to yours!

Unknown said...

Great points, Elizabeth!
I think it's normal to worry about just churning out lots of material that isn't all that special. But maybe pushing for so much material all at once works for some specific writers! But writers are all different, so it's natural NaNo wouldn't work perfectly for them all. :)