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Posts Tagged ‘#NaNoFinMo’

I like NaNoWriMo for a lot of reasons. It provides a useful set of constraints, a deadline, and a global group of fellow travelers with which to share the journey. It’s also completely bonkers, in a good way. I remember the sheer sense of glee when I realized that I could actually produce that many words in that short a time.

First question: Can I churn out 50,000 words in a month? Yes, yes I can. Go me.*

Next question, and one that most NaNo participants come up against as the first flush of success fades: Do those words mean anything? Are they useful?

In my case, and no surprise here, the first draft was not 100% terrible but certainly needed work. Writing to a tight deadline with a high word count left me, at least, with the sort of prose I don’t usually write in fiction.

  • Contractions? Nope, they only counted as one word, and why write one word when you can use two?
  • Blah blah blah descriptions that were far wordier than necessary? Absolutely.
  • Unnecessary plot detours? Oh yes. Have my character stop off at a roadside ice cream stand and discuss the relative merits of lemon lavender versus pomegranate basil flavors on the way to the dramatic shootout? Sure, if it helps me meet my word count target.

That part of NaNoWriMo wasn’t as helpful to me. This year, I’m rewriting the rules.

  • I know I can write a lot of words on demand. Check.
  • I know I can write every day. Check.
  • I don’t need more of that. What I want to practice now is finishing.

So this November I’m being a bit of a NaNo radical. Word count is not my focus. I’ve chosen one story idea and will work on it until it’s done. That’s it.**

The end:)

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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* I bet you could do it too. Need a pep talk? Check out the NaNoWriMo archives.

** I may or may not also be participating in an imaginary mentorship program with Ilona Andrews Because what good is imagination if it can’t take you where you want to go?

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