NaNo Update (Insert Witty Title Later)

Blogged 300 words. Deleted them. NaNo

Let’s try again.

NaNo: Not working out so well.

It’s no surprise really. I knew coming into the month that it would be a struggle to hit the required word count, so I am far from surprised that I’m averaging only about 1k per day.

The reason I’m okay with it is because this story is not one of those that I can simply channel. FALLEN was fun to write. I pounded out a quick and heavy word count because I could get into Mal’s head and channel his story. I do the same almost every time I sit down to work on CRANK. I’m in Crandall’s head 100% and Mike, nearly as much so.

I’m not in Morgan’s head yet, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean that I won’t finish writing ABANDON, but rather, that I’ll need to work harder on it. I’ll need to write slower, and concentrate on the direction I need the story to go.

The point of NaNo is to pour out the words. Set a deadline and race towards it with no time to stop and realize that last paragraph needs to be edited. Honestly, I like to write that way anyway. When I sit down to a WIP, I reread the last section wrote, maybe clean it up, but mostly just to get the feel of the story back in my head, and then I write without looking back. Some stories tell me right up front that they’re not meant to be written like that. This is one of them. Jordan, my demon-hunter, was another. Jordan’s story wasn’t bad and it’s still an official WIP, but when I tried to write her in this style, it came out juvenile and amateurish. It’s one thing to hit a word count and have a manageable manuscript, but quite another to hit that count but then have to trash half of it because the scenes were THAT BAD.

That was Jordan. That bad. ABANDON isn’t that bad, but it is very, very disconnected. While the scenes that I have finished are great, I’m writing a little from the beginning, a little from the end, a little from the second book, a little from the fourth. This will be difficult to draw together and is not a productive writing style for me.

So to sum up this long rambling affair, I’m still plugging away at the NaNo WIP, but I’ve given myself permission to not hit the required word count. I may also pick up Jordan’s story to give my head a break from the frustration of pulling the story, little by little, from my stubborn Morgan. I think all NaNo writers out there should give themselves permission to fall short on word count if it will be for the better of the story. Last week, I lost sight of the purpose of NaNo – to write a story – if we focus too much on word counts, to the exclusion of making the story interesting, we have wasted the month and set ourselves up for more frustration in December as we try to edit a half-assed manuscript.

I’m glad I caught myself. I feel better about this WIP already.

Ciao,
Pia

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4 responses to “NaNo Update (Insert Witty Title Later)

  • uninvoked

    I’m proud of how much crap I’ve managed to throw up so far, even though I’m far, far behind. (1k per day is about where I’m at. I’m determined to catch up, even if I’m just writing about my character giving the author a pep talk about nano.

    • piaveleno

      That’s a great point. I’ve done that too – writing the character in non-story related scenes, just to write. We can learn a lot about the characters putting them in situations they would never encounter in the story itself.

      Congrats on your 1k per day, Uninvoked. It’s definitely not something to balk at.

      Pia

  • Anysia (Booklorn on Twitter)

    I am moving between two WIPs. Whichever one is flowing is the one I write (though I had a little depressive period and haven’t written or done anything else productive since Wednesday).

    I tend to write out of order anyway since that’s just how my stories come to me. I’ve tried writing linearly but that isn’t productive for me–I find I lose some of my best prose and my best scenes by waiting until I get to them in the story. I also write less filler that I have to dump if I let myself skip around.

    For me, the point of NaNo is to have a shitty draft to work on by the end of the month. That’s it. So far I have 13 000 more words written than if I hadn’t started NaNo–that’s victory right there.

    You’re right, there’s no point in pumping out 50 000 words if you feel you are wasting your time by writing at that pace. I stay away from writing filler because, for me, it’s not about the word goal–it’s about stomping on the internal editor long enough to get crappy prose on paper that I can edit into worthiness later.

    • piaveleno

      Ah yes, I will jump around for the same reasons. With this NaNo bit, I’ve been jumping to avoid blocks instead of jumping because I had a great idea for a future scene.

      Congrats on your 13k words!

      Pia

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