Friday, September 23, 2011
To NaNoWriMo, or not to NaNoWriMo...
That is the question.
Last year was a big year for me. I decided to really push my writing by signing up to compete in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and going to Dave Farland's Writer's Death Camp. Since the Death Camp started November 6th, I figured that would be the perfect time to start my NaNoWriMo project.
Now, keep in mind that I'd never actually finished a novel before. The one that I came closest to finishing went down in flames when I learned that there was NO chance of selling it. (Lucas Film has this thing that you can't write Star Wars novels unless you're on their approved author list and you can't get on that list unless you've written something they've liked.)
So, I show up at the Death Camp with only an idea of the story I want to write. You know what I forgot?
A lot of plotting and research.
It seems that writers do a LOT of research into the stories they're going to tell. Most of it revolves around character and world building, but I showed up with only the idea of a general plot coupled with a few characters. Fortunately, I managed, with the tolerance of my writing group, to catch up. Seven months later, I'm banging down the last third of the novel I so horrendously began last November.
So, NaNoWriMo is nearing again and I promised myself I wouldn't begin another novel without research. But last night I realized that if I'm going to do NaNoWriMo this year, now is the time to start doing my research. Then again, I also promised myself I wouldn't start a new project until I'm done with the old one.
Either I need an aggressive writing goal or I need sit back and enjoy the journey.
"To do, or not to do, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The lack of sleep and aching hands,
Or to take caffeine against a crushing word count,
And by opposing end them?"
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