Wednesday, October 23, 2013

NaNoWriMo Preparation: Day 6 of 14

So far we have covered:

Today’s topic is understanding the NaNoWriMo process of writing.


50K words in 30 days is a huge accomplishment, yes? I’d say so! How perfect though do those 50K words have to be?

The perfectionist in you is shaking your head and saying ‘abso-freaking-perfect!’ Am I right? I bet I am.

The thing is…this novel you are writing is going to be so far from perfect that it will drive you insane. Some of you will want to edit and re-edit from the get-go. But the whole purpose of this project is to write…write…and do more writing. You need to get the first 50K words written fast. No editing is allowed. At least not while you are writing.

Don’t use contractions. You’ll needs to be you will. I’ll needs to be I will. Don’t needs to be do not. Every single word counts. It will count. I promise you it will. And don’t use numbers.

Get every possible word you can. If you have written three paragraphs and then realize
they suck so bad that you must rewrite them…don’t delete them. Cross them out like this.  Those words will still count in the challenge. This isn’t cheating. You wrote those words-you are allowed to use them. If something doesn’t make sense in the story but you still need to use it…highlight them a certain color. You will know to go back to it after the 30 days are up and you will edit them then.

Too many authors/writers expect their first draft to be perfect. Do you remember high school? Your English teacher making you write the first draft and then the second draft, and maybe a third before submitting your final draft? This November challenge is that first draft. Just get the blasted words out, complete the 30 days and say you have finished your manuscript or at least 50K words of the manuscript (because nobody ever said the book had to say THE END by November 30th!

The purpose is to write 50K words. It isn’t to finish the 30 days with a clean, edited, perfected manuscript ready to send off to be published! So write…just write until your fingers hurt, heart bleeds, and brain goes numb. No editing allowed!

1 comment:

  1. Back in high school, I had a science teacher who expected us to turn in an outline, rough draft, and final draft of every paper. But that's not how I write. So I wrote the final draft first, then copied it (back when papers were written by hand), throwing in a few mistakes and changing a couple paragraphs around. Finally, I wrote an outline based on the draft. It was probably more work than doing it his way, but his way made no sense in my head.

    The trouble is, it's the only way I know. I never go back and edit because I edit as I write. And I've earned a Masters Degree without ever reading a single paper I turned in. It works great for me when I need to deliver a final product, but I flat out don't know how to write a shifty first draft.