Nanowrimo One Week Later

So I’m still clicking along like some mad steam work auto-writing…..thing. Anyway, after about 2500 words last night I managed to fall short by about 300 words of par for day seven. But I consider it a victory since I was about 1200 in the hole before that. Don’t try to do the math, it’s confusing to me too.

I’m sitting on a story right now with a little more than 11,000 words. That feels impressive to me. I had started another novel last year during nanowrimo and had been picking at it ever since. Let’s check how many words that beast has.

Under 9000?!?!!!! *cough*

Yes, I’ve written almost half again as much in one week as I did in a year for the other novel. This was when I started thinking about what I was taking away from this experiment.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT WRITING FROM NANOWRIMO (Or: Shit I should’ve known already)

1. Holy crap plotting is super effective!

I’m not saying you need to plot. Some people like to do things by the seat of their pants (or pantsers as they’re known to all the cool people) and that’s what I did for the first book I mentioned. But let’s also compare output. ~9000 words in a year compared to ~11,000 words in a week. It’s really great to be able to sit down and have an idea about where to go next. Thinking of plot is time not spent writing other kick ass stuff, like robots having cooking battles in kitchens made of fire.

You don’t have to stick to the plot either! That’s the best part! I plotted a chase scene but by the time I got to that part it made more sense for the characters to get arrested instead. (Oops spoilers!) And you know what? That doesn’t matter either because I can just go change it later! Writing is bitchin!

2. You need to do the work.

I’m sure I’ll have many people that will scoff at the idea that “writing” is “work”. I spent sixteen years working at a gas station in the blazing heat AND snow at the same time! My pay check was 15 cents and that was enough to buy milk and bread for a month but the only store was uphill both ways with bear traps every 10 yards and if you cried when you stepped in one you got the switch to your backside for being a sissy. AND WE LIKED IT!!!!!!

Woah…yeah that is certainly a lot more work than I do making up fairies and demons. It’s harder than my real job, teaching English, a language I was fortunate enough to grow up speaking.

AND THERE WERE BEES EVERYWHERE WITH STINGERS THE SIZE OF CAR ANTENNAS!!!! 

Holy shit dude calm down, I understand. All I’m saying is writing to a word count won’t happen magically. If that is what you’re after you need to sit the hell down and do it. That’s the biggest difference between my story last year and my story this year. I’ve been sitting down, usually late at night after work and fucking about on the internet for too long but I still get in there in the word hive. Up to my elbows in word honey. Swollen all over from the awful word stings by word bees…

Ok I’ll stop.

3. My god the typos.

Not too much to say but while trying to crank out 2000 words in an hour to meet a self imposed deadline I start to wonder if I’m not secretly dyslexic given the amount of really simple words I screw up all the time.

Thanks for reading. I’m out of ideas and about to dash out for about six solid hours of running around the city like a crazy person trying to earn a living. Comments appreciated, responded to when I can remember that I should be doing this “engage the audience” thing I’ve heard so much about.

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