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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pros and Cons To Writing NaNo Style

2009 was my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I really had no idea what to expect.  I didn't even expect to finish, truth be told.  And when all was said and done, I even now have no idea whether  would ever choose to write that way again...all frenzied and racing and not thinking and ... FUN!  I loved it and was terrified by it all at the same time.

So here are a few pros and cons to the NaNo chaos style of writing...or, at least, what I learned from my first time out.

PRO:  Writing without thinking or planning or worrying about the details...just trying to churn out the daily word count...is kind of liberating.  It forces you to just let go and let the story happen.  There's no time to sit and over-think it, or get bogged down in details.  I even stopped worrying about making sure something I referenced later in the novel actually meshed with something I'd said earlier about it, because I didn't have time to sift through pages to find the exact reference.  "Don't worry, you can fix it all in editing" was one of the key mantras I had to learn to keep in mind.

CON:  "Don't worry, you can fix it all in editing" is great and all, but when you have to go back through over 50 000 words in editing...all at once, instead of double-checking things as you write it, it can be fairly daunting.  More than once, I almost decided to just stop and send the manuscript in as it was.  I'm glad I didn't, but part of me wishes I'd taken more time to edit the whole thing properly, as there are at least a few smaller errors that I would dearly love to fix now.  Luckily, they don't seem to detract too much from the reader experience so far.

PRO:  Annual event means I can plan to participate further in advance, rather than just jumping in the day before, sketching up a quick outline, and starting on Day One with little to no preparation.

CON:  Annual events are great, if your creative muse works on a schedule!  I am already working on the next two, almost in tandem, really, but focusing more on one at a time, and I'm thinking that I will still be too deep in them come November to feel like starting something else, but too far into both to be able to make either my NaNo project for 2010.

Lunch break over...more after!

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