Monday, October 25, 2010

Reality Check for Nanowrimoers


Wow, we just have 7 days to go until NaNoWriMo! I'm starting to get excited and feel like those race horses behind the starting gate. I'm ready to dig in my heels and see how far ahead I can get in the race to get another rough draft under my belt.

Oh, did you catch that word? Rough! Do not expect to be ready to query in December.

Now most of you are going, "DUH! You shouldn't have to tell us that." But, oh and what a large but it is. There are some who see Nano as the miracle pill to published author. For the last two years I've sat back in utter amazement at how many people start posting their query letters for review in December on the Nano forums.

I'm glad everyone is so enthusiastic about their work, but come on. Ok, the first year I actually thought something must be wrong with me because I didn't produce a polished manuscript ready for publication at the end of Nano. What I had was a really good idea. The skeleton of a story at 60,000 words. I knew it wasn't ready. For the next two years (Yes two whole years!) I added the flesh and skin to those bones. I ballooned to over 90,000 words and then cut back to 83,000 (drat that backstory!).

The point is, Nano is wonderful if you have realistic expectations. It works for me because my only goal is to get the skeleton of my story on paper. This is actually the easy part. Adding the muscle, tendons, fat (we all need a little fat*wink*) blood and skin is the hard part. The cool thing is that the hard work can be just as enjoyable as the free spirited writing of Nano. Not every moment, but there is a deep satisfaction at the end of the revision and editing process. Don't miss out on becoming a better writer by calling it quits on December 1st.

Yesterday there was an excellent post on Storyfix.com titled A Little Help for Nanowrimo Writers. I highly recommend it.

While you are at it, check out The Lyon's Tale: Top 5 Ways to Stay Sane as a Writer.