Monday, November 4, 2019

I Hadn't Intended To Do NaNo (Again)

About a year ago, I had decided never to do regular NaNo at all, and never to do Camp NaNo again. I had some good reasons. 

First, generally speaking, I'm not a particularly fast writer. I didn't think it was humanly possible for me to write 50,000 words in 30 days. But then last April happened. I used Camp NaNo as motivation to get the second draft of Acktorek finished (and rewrites for the third draft started), and I managed to write roughly 70,000 words* in 2/3 of a month. A second draft, yes, but mostly new material. Including several 7,000+ word days. It was insane.

*I can't remember my exact stats, and all the stats from last April were lost in the NaNo website transfer, which I'm not happy about, so I can't verify the exacts.

So clearly, my reason for not doing regular NaNo was invalid. If I work hard enough and focus hard enough, I can write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Second reason, and my reason for deciding not to do any NaNo again, is that I get obsessed with stats. Anything with numbers, actually, whether it's word count, my personal budget, population statistics for my worldbuilding, birthdays and age gaps, or literally anything you can convert into numbers. Which is weird, because the only school subject I liked less than math was Latin. (Algebra reviews were kind of fun, though, if only because it gave me a break from geometry proofs. And multiplying and dividing fractions can be cool.) My stats obsession contributed to fluff sections in my writing trying to make word count, and, combined with multiple other factors, did damage to my writing quality.

And, unfortunately, my tendency to obsess over stats and other numbers still 100% exists. So that's always a worry that I'll have. However, it's all in having the right focus. If I'm just trying to make word count, that's a problem. But if I'm using NaNo simply as an incentive to finish writing a book, it's a different matter. My April Camp NaNo work doesn't have a lot of fluff to make word count. In fact, I started working on an alternate version of a section for draft 3 at the end of NaNo because I'd finished the book before I hit word count.

So I've decided to do NaNo this November. My first regular NaNo. And I'm not even a rebel for continuing work on an already begun draft. :( 

What am I working on? Acktorek 2. Which needs a better working title, but anywho. I wanted to get the book at least half written by the end of the year, and I estimate that NaNo should get me into the climax, at which point I should be home free. I'm learning more about who Emma and Mitchell are in this book (worldbuilding Mitchell's home also helped), and I'm going to use what I've learned to go back and revise/rewrite book 1. Then rewrite book 2. And then I want to draft a book 3. Because I want to make this a series. And somehow fit in other series/standalones in between. Especially now that I know I can write pretty fast when I really set my mind to it. Maybe I won't win, and that's okay, but if I've at least got myself past the midpoint of the book, I'll be happy. And if I finish the book, I'll be even happier.

I'm doing NaNo. And I'm absolutely going to be watching Month of the Novel for, er, inspiration?


P.S. This post was written and scheduled on NaNo Eve (if that's not a thing, it is now), so by this time, I'm hopefully not flailing in a sea of words.

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