Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'll be honest. This NaNowriMo has turned into NaNoNotNow. Yep. I've failed miserably. So miserably I've even stopped counting. So miserably I don't even recall when I last opened the file. So miserably I haven't even visited the official site for weeks, let alone read the forums. I haven't even been doing my usual forms of Nanowrimo procrastination.

This year I won't be racing to the finish line, because it feels as if I've been running in the wrong direction, and I've lost sight of the racetrack completely.

But I have learned a few things from this particular November:

  • for Nanowrimo to work for me, I need to be working on something new with no fear of how it reads - it's got to be about getting the story down on paper. Fresh.
  • pantsing can work, plotting can work as long as I'm open to stuff happening all by itself.
  • this is not the month to edit or rewrite or worry about finished product.
  • this is not the month to write new scenes and squeeze them all over the place into my manuscript.
  • this is not the month to totally scrap a secondary plot and try to find a replacement that makes sense and works with the primary plot.
  • words don't write themselves especially when I'm trying to beat someone else's score in a game on facebook.
  • you need to stay engaged with your story for the word fairy to sprinkle her fairy dust
  • backing up is good - thankfully the death of my laptop did not equal loss of scenes or words, but it might have if I'd written anything in the last week.
  • taking a week's holiday in November is good for wordage. But alas, I went to work every weekday of November this time.
So what will I do different next year?

I will spend the rest of the year doing the editing, rewriting, submitting, clearing the decks so that June (for 50ks) or November (for Nanowrimo) are clear for the unencumbered outpouring of a shitty first draft. I will be happy to know that it will be a shitty first draft that requires a lot of work, both structural and other editing.

So tell me? Has it been NanoWriteOn for you? Or NanoNotNow? What was your 2010 Nano experience?