NaNoWriMo

This is going to be a shorter post than usual, because of course, I am participating in NaNoWriMo. Although I might not finish. I'm not really planning to write a novel, just an anthology of various short stories. I've had a lot of ideas for short stories and I'm planning on entering them in contests fairly soon. 50k worth of short stories. I might end up developing one of those later into a novel, but I'm not planning on it.NaNoWriMo is "National Novel Writing Month", running through the month of November. Stephanie Perkins wrote 50k of Anna and the French Kiss during NaNoWriMo. Erin Morganstern wrote The Night Circus during NaNoWriMo. Sara Gruens wrote all of her novels during NaNoWriMo, including the bestseller Water for Elephants.NaNoWriMo is a program that starts on November 1 and you have until November 30 to write 50k. The purpose of NaNoWriMo is not quality, but quantity. It could be the roughest draft in the world, but you finished it and so that gives you incentive. You can have writing buddies, sponsors, and more.Many people do NaNoWriMo. The average word count is 1,666 per day to get to 50k before November 30. If you win, you not only have bragging rights, but you can get special discounts on writing software that is sponsoring NaNoWriMo. I personally have my eye on Scrivener. I've heard it's really great.I tried using some of the other promoted softwares, but they wouldn't save my character profiles. Everybody I know who has used Scrivener has loved it.I'm really excited for NaNoWriMo, because this is my first year participating. I'm kind of nervous though, because it'd suck if I didn't reach my goal and also, I'm just like every other person out there who wants to write.The things that I've picked up so far about it is that 1) you have to ignore your editing instinct. There's a quote about having two hats as a writer, but only wearing one of them at a time. This quote is talking about you can only be a writer or an editor.What I like to do (from my brief experience) is to pound out pure mass of a draft. I pound out the words. I like to write when I'm feeling my rawest emotions...when I want to cry, when I want to scream and punch a wall, when I'm feeling so overwhelmed when I don't think that anybody else could know what it's like to be like me.That way, my stories feel more honest for me. Now, that's just my way.After I pound out my rough draft, I comb over the entire thing in sections with a red pen. I like to print things out and do them a few pages at a time, but I only do a few printed drafts, or else I feel bad about wasting paper. To me, I catch more mistakes on the paper than on the screen though, and it's just friendlier because it seems smaller.I edit for the small things: typos, misspellings, character mistakes, etc,.Then, I go back and rewrite the entire thing off the notes that I did before.After I rewrite the entire thing, I go back as an editor again. On my second round of editing, I don't edit for the typos; I edit for the bigger picture. Does the story flow like it is now? How does this all work? Did I allude to this throughout the book? I just want to make my writing great as a story. I make sure that I have a story arc. I don't want to end up making my drafts sparkling clean grammatically, but making no sense whatsoever as a whole.Then I go back and rewrite, edit, etc,. over and over again until I'm done.Everybody has a different writing style, and that's okay. You want to have a different writing style, because each person is different. What may make your book amazing might not be what makes somebody else's book amazing.By the way, sorry that I'm not using very good words or anything in this post. I just wrote myself out and I'm a bit burned out right now. I know, that's hardly even possible, but I'm trying to get a good chunk done today. I like to get things done early although I am extremely glad that the rest of my month is hardly even busy! I'll actually have time to (gasp) blog!NaNoWriMo has its advantages and disadvantages. For advantages, everybody is willing to lend support to who needs it. We tweet with each other, chat, and we all have solutions for each other's problems. Everybody seems to have a bit of time for them to help each other and keep on writing.It gives us the body of our books. Coffee, pens, pencils, and laptops are something plentiful among us, but it's helpful because we have set aside time that we know that we have to write. Having a goal in a definite, hard to achieve time frame gets us in the mood to write and we use that momentum to keep on going. When NaNoWriMo ends, we will still write. That's one of the great things about it.Also, it's just fun. Sometimes you may dread having to write just because you're burned out or busy but NaNoWriMo makes you excited about writing. Word sprints, pep talks, support, prizes, and more make it incredibly fun to do. From the buzz I've heard about it, it really results in some great things.The only problem afterwards is that a lot of agents are overwhelmed by the sheer number of queries flooding their inbox talking about how somebody finished their novel and it's the next big thing. A lot of them dread December, knowing the incredible number of manuscripts begging to be read. Sure, a lot of amazing novels result from it, but it is taxing on them.NaNoWriMo is going to be great this year. I can feel it. I might do a few write-ins or something, but it's really giving me the incentive that I need to go ahead and finish! I can't wait. I'm going to just pump out the word count. A lot of it (and I mean a lot) will be edited and deleted, but for now, I just see blank pages in front of me waiting to be filled.Happy reading writing!Grace

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