I know I know it’s Halloween: trick-or-treaters, pranks and the inevitable piles of candy. One other thing October 31 is a reminder of is NaNoWriMo, a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. And it starts tomorrow.
Are you ready? I’m ready this year, last year not so much, I only made it to the 30,000 word mark. This year, with a little help, I plan on making it to the 50,000 word mark. The decks have been cleared, my organic outline is ready to go, the characters are beaten into shape and my internal editor has been sent on a month-long vacation to Hell. At the end of the month when she gets back I pay for my destination choice in spades.
I think the last part is important to finishing NaNoWriMo. Your internal editor has to go away, either on vacation, or thrown down the cellar stairs covered in duct tape. A writing sprint is, and I know you’ve heard this, quantity over quality. The quality comes when you do your edit, not when you do your first draft. A first draft is a piping hot mess, not to be read by anybody but you.
A first draft is where you use the words; really, just, got, things, stuff, amazing, very, perhaps, and quite. These words are mostly unnecessary in your book, and they are overused. But, in a first draft, wear those puppies out! Use them to your heart’s content, because, it makes your edit a lot easier. When you begin your edit of your first draft taking out these unnecessary words gives you a feeling of accomplishment. “Look I edited 6000 words of my book today!” you really don’t need to tell people that they were 6000 unnecessary words that you chopped. Just revel in the feeling of accomplishment.
This will be my third year of trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. My first year I succeeded and accomplished my goal, mostly due to the fact that my youngest daughter yelled at me every time I walked away from my computer. The second year I tried it I failed, because there was no one to motivate me. I am a person who requires motivation in the form of threats, promises and presents. So this year, my husband is on board to be my personal motivator. He has already got with the program and started in with the threats; “No, you can’t have that caramel apple until after you’ve written three blog posts.” Yes, my hips don’t need that caramel apple. But dammit it’s Halloween, and I deserve a damn caramel apple!
Off to write my next two blog posts, so I can have a well-deserved caramel apple. See writers can be trained! Take care and have a safe Halloween!