As NaNo draws to a close, our heroine saw wrimos put in extraordinary efforts the last few days, dear Reader. Incredible daily totals! Surely beyond what each person guessed could be done. Congratulations to all of you.
This is a link to a guest post from Michael Geffner‘s blog, Mike’s Writing Workshop and Newsletter. He kindly published an article I wrote about NaNoWriMo called The Shiny NaNo Secret. Whether you finished the 50k, but especially if you did not, I urge you to read it. I won’t go nuts on you here with my soapbox. Please, take a look and let me know what you think here in the comments?
As some of you know, I used the Fast Drafting method which Shannon Delany, author of 13 to Life (which is due out in June 2010!), described in an interview written in the Friday Forum: Plotting article. That meant I wrote a huge 5k per day, day in and day out. Those of you who put in massive efforts near the end to make your 50k know that’s not undoable. The day in and day out part is rough, though. I kept up the Fast Drafting beyond the 50k up until the rough draft was complete.
I learned to STOP after I realized I hit 5k. Sure, the enthusiasm was there, the drive and motivation were keen. I came to understand that going beyond that point made me less inclined to pick up the keyboard the next day. I encourage you to learn the total you can maintain daily and work with that. Writing daily is what it’s all about. Maintain your daily total or you’ll burn out and walk away.
I learned to STOP in mid-scene so that when I sat down to the manuscript I had built-in momentum. A new technique to me, it proved to be excellent at kick-starting the old gray cells while coffee was still being taken in. (Yes, I know, coffee is always being taken in. Pick a point and get to it.) This is not a technique that works for everyone. I’ve heard some say when they do that, they can’t find the rhythm they were in while they were writing that scene. Fair enough. The point is to be open to finding the techniques that work for you. The first time I heard the “mid-scene technique” mentioned, I scoffed. It stayed in the old noodle, so eventually I gave it a shot.
I strongly encourage you to finish your NaNo manuscript. My 2008 NaNo is gathering dust. I plan to shake said dust off it and finish it during breaks from editing my series in 2010. Finish it, edit it, polish it until it shines. Take the time that it deserves to turn it into the best novel it can be. (Unless it’s an homage to plot bunnies.) Remember, December is not NaNoSubMo — do not submit your NaNo until it is ready to go. Save yourself and the literary agents (and their interns) the trouble, please.
I hope you had a great time with your NaNo experience. It’s supposed to be fun. Words and more words, I just can’t get enough of them. Hopefully, you feel the same way and have been left with the joy of writing as regularly as possible. I look forward to reading your novels.