At the beginning of last month, I set out to write a novel–50,000 words of one, anyway–in 30 days.
And… I was going to do this one sheet of paper at a time, in hopes of a cleaner draft and ultimately, an easier revision. (I’m always looking for an easier revision.)
I was behind from day one.
Obviously, write longhand and then type is not the best strategy for speedy drafting. And that really wasn’t the point.
At the end of the month, I had roughly 14,000 words. That’s not great, and it’s not even average for me. (I usually wind up closer to thirty or forty thousand words in a month, and I aim a little higher than that in a good year.)
I was also blogging–mostly unrelated–and that would add a few thousand more words. Haven’t counted. And there’s the short story I wrote for the Advent Calendar this year. Oh. And I never really got away from the revision I was working on before I started Nano.
So, I started on November 1st with ONE piece of paper on a clipboard and a pencil.
And I started writing the ONE scene that was lodged in my mind.
And then, what?
Well, I found a few more scenes over the course of a month, but I never really got into the story. It never started to feel like one of my stories, and I never really started having fun with it.
Maybe I was a little afraid of this one. It’s the kind of thing that has to be done really well. Otherwise… it would fall off the edges, and either turn into a sermon or a farce.
So… what I learned from NaNoWriMo 2016
- writing longhand DOES produce cleaner drafts BUT in my case, at least, the reduction in speed adds up to a reduction in passion. I’m not sure which part of that is going to be useful in the future.
- I may be better off to write as a NaNo Rebel, and work on whatever I already have in the works.
- Even if something sounds more efficient, it may not be the best path for me.
- I still need to get out there and be a part of the community, even when things aren’t going well. I started tanking in word count, and withdrew. I didn’t do a lot of the social things on the Nano Site that I would have liked to.
For next year… I’m not really sure what the goal should be, but I’m probably going to keep working on whatever I’m working on when it gets here. I’ll also focus more on the community building aspect of it.
So, what about you? Lessons learned? Strategies for next year?