Are you a perfectionist? So many writers are. (Even our heroine, dear Reader.) We want to get that chapter just right before we move on to the next. What happens? We get frustrated and more importantly: we lose our momentum.
Momentum in writing a rough draft is crucial. It is the tool which allows a writer to get down the bones of the story, explore beyond the margins of any outline handy and discover plotholes. Oops! Fill them in while you go if you can, mark them for later contemplation if you can’t. Momentum! Thy name is first draft!
NaNoWriMo is an excellent tool for teaching this technique. It’s how I got past my perfectionism, in fact. Seriously, if you have trouble with building and maintaining momentum, you can dig into NaNo come November. Take all the time you want to prep for it, but once November 1st comes, it’s all about the momentum. Don’t worry about word count. (Yes, I know. NaNo is supposed to be about word count. Be a maverick! Set your own goals.) Just get that story’s skeleton down. Anything else is gravy. Get that draft down with your bad self!
Don’t want to do NaNo? No problem. Set your own high standards and goals. I like to set a time limit for getting the first rough draft of my novel completed. (No, I’m not telling. Everyone’s is different.) I plow into it, discovering new aspects to characters and story as I go. That, to me, is the most exciting part of staying dialed into momentum.
What’s yours? Please leave me a note to let me know what you think. I’m always interested in new techniques.