I Blame NaNoWriMo

So, I’m doing pretty well with my NaNo.  I could definitely “Win” if I wanted to.

I’m just not sure winning is a good thing anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, NaNo got me to write almost 40,000 words as of today, but I think it came at a price.

To my story.

I was in a rush every day to get my stinking word count or make up for the previous day’s word count.

So?  You ask.  What’s wrong with that?

Well, I don’t like to write just to get word count.  I like getting a high word count and when I do write I typically knock out a few thousand words. But I’m not trying to get words, I’m worried about PLOT!

I’m a plotter –this is book four of a series, major shit is happening, I have lose ends, I have character development, I have theme and all kinds of clues I’m supposed to be layering in the story – all while making sure I remember the damn girl has all these issues that must add up to something by the end of the fifth book.

Whew.  I mean, there is a LOT going on.  Junco is not a quick read once you get past Clutch.  It’s got layers.  Everything has a purpose, it all has to come together.  It’s a bit exhausting just thinking it up to be honest.

But this damn NaNo has this little graph that shows your freaking progress…(I’m a bit behind as you can see.)

And so I knocked out like 5000 words yesterday and then woke up this morning and wanted to erase most of it.

I didn’t, don’t worry. I know better.  A lot of it is still good, but I spent my writing time today going back to a previous scene to add in some pretty important stuff.  It was a couple thousand words, and all I keep thinking is, how did I miss this on the first pass?  It’s so obvious.

I blame NaNo.

There. I said it.  I blame the damn contest.  If I was focused on plot and characters like I normally am that scene would not have gotten past me.  It’s OK, I have the scene now, but I cringe to think of RJ getting hold of this manuscript and her little red comment bubbles filled with WTF is this?  (Not really, she’s super polite in her comments, but I know what she’s thinking.)

Anyway.  I’m just chiming in just in case there’s more writers out there like me who like to spend a little less attention to word count and a little more attention to plot.  I probably won’t make 50000 (new) words because I have a two day trip this week for work, but that’s OK.  The book is darn near finished – I’m at about 80,000 words right now and I’m just getting to the crisis, so I’m about 20-25,000 off the end.  I have all of December to edit and even parts of January if I need it, so it will be fine.

But I think I’m done with NaNo.  My first and only year was not inspiring, it actually took me off task. There’s nothing wrong with writing fast, I write fast most of the time, but there’s more to writing than productivity.

Julie Huss

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