I know there are writers who are girding their loins, adding to character sketches, and working on plot points to prepare for NaNoWriMo, the National November Writing Month, the sprint where writers sign up to pound out 50,000 words in one month–supposedly a novel in thirty-one days. Every time I read that, it makes me tired. But in truth, IF a person wrote ten pages a day, and each page had 250 words on it (though most of mine don’t), then in theory, he’d be writing 2500 words a day, and in 20 days, he’d have 50,000 words.

Put like that, NaNo sounds do-able, especially since most writers who sign up for it don’t polish as they go. They just vomit words on paper. Which is fine if you know those words add up to something, and when you finish, and then take time to polish what you have, you’ll end up with something good. But that means you need to be prepared BEFORE you start on November 1st.

Mae Clair wrote two good blogs about NaNo for Story Empire. Here’s the link to one of them, and once you’re there, you can find the other one: She’s going to give it a go this November. It’s never tempted me. I can’t turn off my inner editor. I prefer to rewrite as I go and make any tweaks while I’m working, so they don’t get more out of control as I go. No time for that if you’re dashing down words.

I understand the appeal of NaNo, though. Some of my friends never polish their work until the first draft is finished. They swear the momentum inspires them, and they’d lose creativity if they edited their thoughts and words as they worked. I’m the opposite. When I know something doesn’t feel quite right or fit like it should, it drives me nuts until I fix it. Which is why one writing technique doesn’t work for everyone. We’re all different.

I avoid NaNo, but it might be perfect for you. People encourage one another to meet their goals. And if you can keep up the pace, you might have 50,000 words to start December. I’m wishing any of you who try it swift writing and a Muse who smiles on you. Good luck!

8 thoughts on “NANO

  1. I edit as I go, too. I can’t stand to have a mess behind me and know I’m leaving holes that need filling, especially if the way I fill them could impact the plot moving forward. People tell me I shouldn’t do that, but it works for me.

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  2. I’m more like you, but I don’t know that any of my work is completely polished. I have stress all over the place in my life. Writing shouldn’t be stressful, and the pressure to hit 50K would add more stress. I am content with my productivity level, so I don’t participate.

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  3. I don’t know that I ever feel that my work is completely polished. It’s hard for me to look at it once it’s published, because I can always find something I think I could have done better.


  4. Anything that works is wonderful. Every writer is different. I have friends who do great with NaNo. They write novels straight through without editing, too. And that works for them. I learned the hard way, I don’t do well with it. Are you going to try NaNo this year? If so, hope the words flow for you.


  5. Thanks for the link to my SE post, Judi!
    My usual manner of writing is to edit as I go (which leaves me a pretty polished book by the time I’m done), but in November I throw all of that against the wall and embrace NaNo. Dang, it’s hard 🙂

    Fingers crossed I can pull it off this year!

    Liked by 2 people

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