Saturday, November 26, 2011

Year Two of NaNoWriMo winning!

"Oh, what's that?" you ask? That's just me showing off my official proof of NaNoWriMo victory. If you still don't believe me, I think this link will work: My Novel Stats. We'll see.

I wasn't expecting to finish today; in fact if you look down, you'll see me fretting about just being halfway done about ten days ago. I'll admit that a huge part of my motivation to finish came from trying to beat one of my friends over the finish line. This morning we wrote a total of 18,000 words. She won first.

So now what?

Well, the other day I was reading an article on and came across the following NaNo-related story. Somewhere in the thread of comments, some people were complaining that there is no point to NaNo. The basic argument goes something along the lines of  a) "What's the point of writing 50,000 words of probable crap?" and b) "There are enough bad novels in the world!"

Luckily for you, I have some answers to those questions.

The first is - what's the point? There are quite a few points, so I'm going to stick to what works for me:

1). I love being creative and writing, so doing NaNo is akin to any other sort of hobby or project that I could do instead.
2). It's inspiring to see the rudimentary full first draft of a novel with a start and finish, even if there is some murder in the middle. Even if my goal isn't to be published, I have accomplished something; this goes back to reason one.
3). To paraphrase the NaNo site: Sometimes it is just better to get down an idea, even if some of it sucks. Or maybe a lot of it.

The second one is a lot easier to answer. Just because someone writes crap during November doesn't mean it will be published. This month allows thousands of new and veteran writers to practice writing. Isn't there some sort of saying about monkeys, time and typewriters that ends with the full works of Shakespeare? What I'm getting at is, maybe a good novel or two will come out of this. (Not that I'm calling NaNo participants monkeys. Nor insinuating that they can only use typewriters).

So sure, like anything in life (I'll just throw out pictionary as an example here), NaNo is not for everyone.

Life After NaNo

Well, November isn't over yet, so if you're still writing, go write. Come back and read this when you're done!

Personally, the first thing I did after finishing writing was vacuum and then give the puppies their baths and half haircuts. (Sherlock will only sit down for one half of a haircut at a time). Then I did something scary and sent my mom a copy of my very, very rough draft of a vampire novel.

Even knowing that, as my mom, she's contractually obligated to say at least vaguely nice things about it, I'm still nervous. But I'm also excited, because she'll be the first person to really look it over with fresh eyes and confirm to me if the plot holes I noticed are the same ones she notices. Or if the boring character I created maybe has some redeeming qualities.

Or it will be so bad that she'll burn it secretly and tell me later that she's "so proud of me for doing what I love!"

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