I was going to focus on writing a new project in November anyway so when a friend challenged me to do NaNoWriMo I signed up immediately.
I’m not doing NaNoWriMo in the same way as I have before. This is my fourth outing: I won the first two and lost the third. This time, I have an outline and a very distinct goal.
My outline isn’t as detailed as some people’s but at 16 pages (double-spaced) it’s more detailed than any I’ve written to before. It doesn’t cover every aspect of the story. The plot and main events are there; the finer details of people’s interactions and relationships aren’t. I like that I’ll have things to work out on the hoof. My characters jog along the plotline, more or less, but there’s still room for them to surprise me. I need that balance of known and unknown to enjoy the process.
We’re one week in and I’m comfortably meeting targets. I know the words aren’t perfect – there are too many of them – but I think the progression of events is about right. And I wrote something today that gave me the sliver of an idea for another story. That made me really happy.
Overall, I’m feeling pretty chill* about this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m enjoying the challenge of turning off my internal editor and getting on with the writing. I know I’ll despair when it comes to the editing but thanks to November, I’ll have something to edit. That, after all, is the purpose of writing the words in the first place.
My goal, separate from completing the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month, is to develop good writing habits. A day should not go past when I don’t work on something. I’m hoping that winning in November will help me do better in December and beyond.
Wish me luck.
* Grammatical error or inappropriate use of urban slang? Discuss.