Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update 1

I probably shouldn't say this so early, but hitting the quota for National Novel Writing Month today was easy.  It took less than an hour and a half.  That'll be tough to carve out on my busiest days, for sure, but the fact that this is about output and not quality is really very freeing.  (To see the current total, look to your right where the tracker is to keep me honest.)

To some extent, these blogs (one post a day spread among 4 different blogs) are also an experiment in output, but they were more about any daily output, not 1667 words of it.  And it's only really this year that I've started to be more consistent with the daily part.  (I admit I do cheat sometimes since Blogger fixed the scheduling feature, so I can designate a time I want it to say it was posted, so it doesn't look like I did three posts on the same day after getting behind, but I think I've kept it in the same month, and you will notice a regularity there.)  Maybe I needed 3 years of fiddling with that to get into enough of a habit to be able to make NaNoWriMo work for me.

Extensive planning is allowed, and maybe such activities would have helped me focus better and have some themes and chapter divisions already picked out that I could write towards, but my decision to participate was somewhat last minute, and I didn't want to try to cram all that thinking into a short time and set myself up for disappointment.  I sensibly decided to settle for some free-writing to get some topics and ideas down.  On October 31st, I did enough brainstorming to make this some sort of bloated epic.  (I'll settle for hitting the goal of 50,000 related words.)  Now I don't even have to strain to come up with the topic for the day's "chapter."

The result will be a lot of haphazard info dumped onto pages without any thought for novel structure and final form.  According to the rules, that's okay.  Yay rules! 

In conclusion, it looks like my results will be about what I predicted, the kind of kitchen sink draft my essay professor and my fiction professor suggested as an exercise in completing something all in a set time and worrying about editing it later once I saw what kind of story and themes naturally shaped themselves in the drafted material.  I may even hold off trying to dump it all into the computer until the end (or until my hand gives out) to prevent the urge to edit/tinker.  This might mean I won't be able to upload the scrambled novel and get the official completion badge, but I can live with that, if need be.  If I succeed, I'll know, and you'll know, and that's probably enough for a first try.

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