Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nano No-No's and What-If

Todays Word Count ( so far, it is only 2:30 pm here): 31,000
I always look at the 25,000-30,000 mark as being the "half-way to half-way there" point in writing a full sized novel. (the average published novel is roughly 100,000 words)


Many joining in the Nano fun do it to challenge themselves, much like running a marathon, or jumping from a plane, or climbing a mountain; to prove to themselves they can. Others, perhaps those who have long fantasized about being a writer and living the writer's life, give it a whirl to see how they like writing in a routined and disciplined way; to see if they have what it takes to be a writer. Some do it to get back to writing after a long hiatus. Still others do it to help energize their writing momentum, to increase their daily word count and/or force themselves out of any writing rut. Writing can be a solitary life, and this can also prove to be a fun way of networking with other writers. There are many reasons people join in this wild ride, and I applaud them all.

I challenge you to make it across the finish line with me.


For those that started out serious but fell behind (it's not too late!), I offer little gems:

In the words of Yoda:

There is no try, only do.

Or as a dear friend used to say:

You dont gotta like it, you just gotta DO it.

If you are serious about being a writer, this is the month to shit or get off the pot, as they say. A month to practice the sensation, the pressure of being on a deadline.

The beauty of Nano, is that it gives you the freedom to write for speed, without getting hung up on quality or great plot structure. For many that freedom allows them to tap into their storytelling mind and not fret about grammar, lush literary prose, pacing or pesky plots and just write. That alone can be an excellent exercise for those of us who have writing talent and/or no shortage of ideas, but merely need the discipline nudge to write daily, specifically the motivation to hold themselves accountable to 2,000 words/day.

Now as for me, in truth, I don't Nano (using this in verb form) for speed. That freedom doesn't work for me. In fact that very idea gives me cold sweats. Someone mentioned turning off spell check, so they don't get caught in that time-suck of editing (and to rightfully save that editing for next month), so they can hit that word count. It's an awesome tip. I wish I could do that.  I would go in to convulsions and foam at the mouth. I am anal about editing at least a bit, as I go, on myWIP's. (Which is why I am slow and have to work twice as long.) Re-reading, editing, and mini-rewrites as I go along is part of my process. It helps me see where I am, and to see where I am going. I'm a one-step-back-two-steps-forward kind of writer, even during November. It works for me. (plus I know it will save me time later).

Whatever your reason(s), and whatever your process, I challenge you to catch up on your word count this weekend. 

Think how good you will feel if you "win" and have your 50,000 word bones of a novel at the end of this month.

*By the way, I clearly am NOT anal about my blog posts, I never edit these posts. I go for speed here. Isnt that odd that it doesnt bother me that they are loaded with sloppy errors, but yet I cant do that while writing novels?? I told you I have issues.


xo Lola

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May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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