Sunday, November 16, 2014

NaNoWriMo Tips- Fresh Eyes

A little while ago, I talked about fast drafting and ways to power through a draft without second guessing yourself. One of my tips was turn your inner editor off.

Well, as I've discovered this NaNoWriMo, that advice is much better applied to completely new projects. When a project is fresh, its a lot easier to go crazy without checking back to make sure you're pacing it right or that your characters are likable. Though I always say outlining helps a lot with NaNoWriMo, no matter how much you outline, the story is still a surprise. You have nothing to compare it to yet. The editor in you won't really make an appearance until a few months later.

Not so with rewriting. This month, I decided to finally rewrite, from scratch, my first ever novel. This is my baby. The thing that, in effect, has been in progress since seventh grade. Yeah. That long. Seven years I guess. I didn't actually finish the first novel until I was fifteen, and ever since then I've been editing and rewriting and trying new things with it.

Well, this month I said, enough. I decided I would look on the story with fresh eyes and write it completely from scratch. But its hard to do that when the story is so close to your heart. You already know your characters and story so well, you judge every single word you write. Several times over this month, I've wanted to change things because I didn't feel like my characters were coming across in the right way. Four days into NaNoWriMo, I completely started over to change the point of view. Usually, starting over is a big no, no. And while I like the changes I'm making, writing them can be like wading through mud some days.

Long story short, I won't be using NaNoWriMo for a big redraft like this again. While I have powered through and I expect to hit 50,000 words today (thanks in part to a few 10,000 word sprints that have left me in a writing coma), its been a lot more of a struggle than usual. Next NaNoWriMo, I'm definitely going to start with a fresh concept.

So what is easiest for you to fast draft? Do certain genres work better for you when you speed write? And how is NaNo going for you so far?

Soldier on writers! You can hit that 50,000 words! And if you don't, that's okay too. At least you wrote something, and that is always a thing to be proud of.

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