For some reason every year for the past five years I have sat down during the month of November and attempted to write a 50-thousand word novel. It’s all part of the fun of National November Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. For thirty days I plug away at a book or two to see how many words I can possibly write. Most of those years I’ve actually made it to the 50-thousand threshold. (See my Writing Corner on Monday for why I love to do it and how those NaNo deadlines can help you to keep the writing process going and how to keep the word count flowing, even past November.
You’ll notice I didn’t celebrate until a week later. That’s because I think I was all written out when I finished last Friday, November 29. (Yes! I got through a day early).But today I am celebrating that accomplishment. Tomorrow I will pick up the book I wrote and start in on the process of editing. It will take some work, because some of those scenes need to be moved around and some need to be fixed and there is lots of research I need to check.
But as I’ve often heard Nora Roberts and other prolific writers say, you can’t edit what you haven’t written, and a blank page cannot be edited. That is one of the joys of NaNoWriMo. It frees up the imagination so that you are just writing down whatever pops into your head.Many times I’ll come back to the words and find out that I had a really good scene going. It just needs some cleaning up. Other times I’ll discover plot twists I might not have known about if I hadn’t allowed my brain and my characters to carry me off in some crazy direction.
So for now I am celebrating the brain-freedom for writing provided by NaNoWriMo. Oh, and also those 50-thousand-plus words!
For December, I am going to celebrate my good fortune in finishing 50-thousand words by helping other writers. Please join me at The Help Desk at Savvy Authors. Along with several other writers and writing teachers I will be donating my time to answering questions and looking through your material. Click on the Workshops and Classes and look for the sessions for Becky Martinez. I'll be there all next week to answer your questions and provide you with help.