Monday, December 5, 2011

The NaNoWriMo Experience

I'm back from NaNoWriMoland. During November I wrote 55,448 words on a new novel tentatively titled "Mt. Koya." I have not finished, but I have a clear idea where it will go and in the next week or so I will have a first draft.

The NaNoWriMo experience was extraordinary. I tend to be a writer who distracts himself easily. I will not happily go ahead with a new sentence, a new paragraph, a new section until I am happy with what I've just written—and I am seldom happy. With the challenge to write an average of 1,667 words a day, I did not have time to be distracted. I worried that if I fell behind by a day or more, I would never make up the words, and I had to think about the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As a writing teacher says about first drafts: "Write too fast."

I know that some people think through an outline before November 1 so all (all!) they have to do is fill in the blanks during the month. I had an idea for a story and simply began writing. On result of this approach: I was regularly surprised by what the characters said and did. I would like to think this leads to a more spontaneous and interesting work.

I am now almost in the habit of turning out 2,000 words a day. I did it before, I can do it again. So saying that I'm going to get started on today's 2,000 words.

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