NaNo always tempts me, I’m not going to lie. It sounds so simple to tuck in 50,000 words in a month’s time. What’s 1500 teeny tiny words a day? If I do it, I’ll have half a novel complete already! It’s great discipline and a way to either finish something I’m halfway through, or start something that’s been teasing me! (Rules say start something from scratch, but whatever – I’m a rebel.)
Look, I am all for people figuring out Butt In Chair Time. It’s the key to success in a lot of ways – having the discipline to sit the hell down, write, and finish something takes a certain mindset, and we all have to get there somehow. If NaNo is going to teach you that, you should do it, but I don’t think it’s gonna work for me for a myriad of reasons (beyond the obvious one of “I’m already productive re: word count”). Having to produce over 1500 words per day is going to force me to either THINK AND PLOT REALLY FAST or . . . add in filler to get my word count per day. I dunno, man. Would I rather write 3,000 words a week and know where those 3,000 words are going? That they’re quality? Or would I rather write a frantic 7,500 of potential shitty shit? And if they’re shitty shit, isn’t it going to take me a really long time to edit what I just produced, therein negating the fast and frantic mad dash of the original 50,000 sprint?
If I had to conjure a guess as to how NaNo would go for me, it’d be something like this.
1) Write the words IF I can cram that much word count into a day.
2) End the month, wipe brow, have momentary feeling of SUCCESS I DID IT. Hope that by putting off project already under way I haven’t killed my momentum with it.
3) Realize there’s still another 50,000 words to write to finish said book and I’m only halfway done and burnt out. Well, crap.
4) Reread what I wrote and see that it’s not top grade stuff. I’m going to have to rework a third of it, cut a third of it, and preserve a third of it, which means I only really have 15,000 viable words and there’s 85,000 words left to produce or rewrite to make a decent story.
5) Toss my hands up in the air in frustration and wonder why I didn’t just do what I do, which is make it National Novel Writing /YEAR/.
I know there are success stories out there about NaNo authors getting pub deals. From what I understand, Erin Morgenstern wrote the first incarnation of The Night Circus during NaNo. What people aren’t saying is that she scrapped that entire draft and started fresh later on, but hey . . . the seed was born.
Of course, I could NaNo just so I can write my Wicked Queen story.
. . . it’d be an excuse to pork another story behind the shed.
Anyway, are you NaNo’ing? Are you starting something fresh? Continuing a current project? Are you outlining in advance? TALK NANO, PEOPLES.