Wednesday, 1 December 2010

NaNo conclusions

It’s now 1 December and NaNo writers all over the world are breathing a deep sigh of relief. Now, apparently, it’s the month for editing. Stop breathing and panic!

I really enjoyed doing NaNo at first. It got things moving along, new characters developed, the storyline took a major (and improved) turn, and some latent characters decided they needed major threads. It looked as if it was all coming together. Until I realised that 50k words would be in no way representing this tale. Fair enough as the genre for trad fantasy usually is a bit meatier anyhow. But knowing that I couldn’t get a whole book out in the month made NaNo feel pointless.

Five days until the finish, despite being a little ahead of my schedule for 50k words, I stopped writing. I hate the work. I despise all the characters. And if I even see one sentence more from that book, I think I’ll throw myself out the window onto the new Georgian-style spire on top of my new conservatory (thank you builders for finishing on time after all that!!!).

The thing about creative writing for me has always been how it envelops all my senses as I write. I truly enjoy every moment of the creation and about half way through NaNo, I began to loathe it. It was too forced, too quick. I didn’t have time to really get to know each character and take them through the weeks with me. I think, in short, that NaNo is not really for me. I’ll use it still to keep certain targets as it’s good to have that sort of motivation, but as for a complete 50k novel in a month… nope. It just takes out all the joy.

Having said that, I will finish the last 20-30k of my novel in next year’s NaNo and then use some of the extra time to begin redrafting. I may hate it now, but there was a time when I was head-over-heels in love with the thing and I’m hoping to rekindle the romance.


  1. NaNo isn't for everyone. I think the best thing about it is to jump start someone either into writing or a writer to begin writing more. Plus, you learn a lot about yourself as a writer when doing NaNo.

    And, I also think it's okay to hate your book and the characters. I think a lot of writers go through that with books they write. I know I have, and I've heard others mentioning it.

    Although I personally hope that everyone who did write a NaNo book in November will step back and not touch it again until January. Books need room to breathe, so to speak. If you rush right into edits, then you haven't given the book and yourself a chance to get away from it, so you can return with a clearer mind.

    *laughs* I guess that's why I let my first drafts sit at least a year or more before I go back to them. By the time I do, then I fall in love with them all again and can fix them with all I've learned through writing.

    Good luck finishing your novel when you get to it. From the snippets you put up, I enjoyed reading it. :)

  2. good thoughts, Cherie! It's definately something for each writer to try, but not for all (including me, lol). I'm sure I'll pick up the book again as I've got issues with leaving things unfinished, but I'll really take my time over it (which in my world means one chapter a week, leave it to breathe for a few months, then edit one chapter a week).

    Thanks for your comments :)