Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNo Update

The last two weeks have been dicey to say the least. I got off to a great start: I had written 29,000 words by the end of the first weekend in November.  Then the story veered off course from where my outline thought it should go. After that, procrastination set in. I didn't want to work on it because I didn't know where it was headed.

But, I took Kristen Lamb's advice and refused to edit it. I soldiered on outside the bounds of the framework I wanted to work in, and let the story run. 

What I have now is a god-awful mess. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It's over 50,000, so technically it's a winner. I don't consider it a completed first draft quite yet, because a sub-plot developed in the writing process that I want to develop a little further.  That's not editing, that's filling in holes.

This one is going to take a lot of real editing over the course of the next year or two. In fact, I'm thinking that at least one re-write from scratch may be in order. It has not been a waste of time, however. There's a lot more to this story than I intended. I set out to write a "sexy, trashy beach novel."  I have ended up with an interesting story about people who allow themselves to be stuck in bad situations because they're afraid to rock the boat.  It has infinitely more potential than the story I intended to write. 

I am sold on the no-editing,  get-it-down-quick-and-fix-it-later method of drafting. I love to edit, so I am not discouraged by the task that is before me. [My problem is that I love to edit so much, I tinker while I'm drafting, and too often confine the story too much. I intend to cure myself of that!]

In any case, for the third year in a row, by the end of next weekend, I will have finished drafting a novel in November.  Good on me, and on all the other over-caffeinated writers around the world who are doing the same thing.

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