It looks like I have survived my first real try at NaNoWriMo.
I really enjoyed it. I think I will probably do it again next year. I did not find the pace particularly difficult, but the social aspect was fun. I will probably do it every year that I am writing a novel just for the social aspects if nothing else. Too bad it’s not in January, or maybe March.
I made a few observations about my own writing and NaNo in general.
- NaNoWriMo was great for building up confidence and momentum. I didn’t really believe I had it in me to write a novel before I did this. In the end, it was a lot easier than I had imagined. When I tried to write a novel before, I spent way too much time trying to polish everything and never got anywhere.
- I found an unexpected sequel to my current book. Where did THAT come from?
- It is actually possible to do a smidgen of editing on the fly and still make your word goal. I am talking about making sure your spelling in mostly correct, and you aren’t hammering one word to death.
- I seem to have declared war on similes. They are like an anathema to me.
- There was a whole forum dedicated to tricks for artificially inflating your word-count. Why do people do that? You have 50,000 words of pointless dreck that you have to ruthlessly slash later. I’d rather “lose” NaNo and have 35,000 words I actually want to use.
- Even though novel writing is not as hard as I feared it would be, it is not that easy. After a couple of hours of straight writing, I find that my brain is pretty much jelly. I can take a break for a few hours and come back to it, but I have a hard time imagining being able to write all day.
- The difficulty involved in writing a novel makes me very glad that I have the support structure that I do. I have gotten encouragement from friends and family every step of the way. If I didn’t have those people around me, or if they were disinterested in my writing, I think that NaNoWriMo would be invaluable just from a social contact and support perspective.
So that’s my list of revelations and nagging thoughts from NaNoWriMo. I will continue to blog here about writing, but I expect to make more Second Life and open source posts now that NNWM is over.
Oh, if you are interested, you can track my writing progress here at this blog on my Project Progress page. I may add other projects, like web site development or Second Life item creation if it seems reasonable.
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