For some reason this post didn’t post yesterday. I’m still new here at WordPress and so I’m working out the kinks.
Anyway, this month I am participating in another “National Novel Writing Month” (NANO) where participants write a set number of words, in my case it’s 50k, and at the end of the month if you reach that goal you are deemed a winner (sans a “most improved” trophy but you do get to print out a fun little certificate. Hey, it’s something). My first experience with NANO was back in November, 2011 and again in both 2012 and 2013.
Last year NANO opened up April and July as “Camp NANO” with more or less the same idea. Write a set number of words on anything from a novel to poetry to a series of short stories and if you meet the goal, you have succeeded.
For me, I have always approached the NANO months with an additional goal in mind: TO FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT.
It isn’t a requirement to be deemed a winner but for me, it is my own personal goal.
I have written five NANO novels so far and another one I began yesterday. There are plenty of naysayers and haters of the whole NANO process saying that there are better ways to spend a month. Perhaps it is because of the
stupid eager writers out there who send off that horribly written first draft to publishers or agents – or worse, hit “publish” via Amazon and self-publish their mess of a manuscript way before it is ready to be seen by critical eyes.
Oh me gawd, writers, stop doing that. Those grammar-mistakes-a-palooza, hot-mess, something-a-third-grader-could-have-written first drafts are never ready to be read, let alone published. Hell, I hardly like reading them.
I usually put my finished first draft away for weeks, months, years until I work into in my “pipeline” of sorts and plan the long overhaul of editing and rewriting.
I can get those first draft manuscripts written in thirty days – so far, I haven’t any problems with that – writing anywhere from one to three chapters a day, if need be, to get the entire first draft written within the chosen month. Editing and rewriting, however, is another beast altogether. I have been knee deep in editing this historical novel set in Los Angeles during WWII for months and am only halfway and up to 100k words. One chapter could take me two or three days and that’s working on it for at least four hours a day.
This month I am embarking on another historical fiction tentatively titled, “Salem Girls” that follow a few young girls in the years following the infamous Witch Trials and will take place in the late seventeenth century and halfway through the eighteenth.
Yesterday was the first day and I wrote the prologue, or 2344 words. Only 47,656 words to go and 44 chapters left to write.