Friday, 6 November 2015

Lessons Learned.

I am currently six days into my eighth NaNoWriMo, and I am thinking about stopping. 

Wait, what? 

I know. It's a new feeling for me, and one that scares me a little. Every year since I first started, I have always completed NaNoWriMo. Even more than that, I usually do it in record time because I'm just so damn excited about the whole event. But this year is different. And, despite the fact that it could be the very first year I "lose", I think it's actually a good thing. 

National Novel Writing Month is usually a time where I take the "quantity over quality" thing seriously. As such, I have a great record for finishing the 50,000 words quickly (my personal record is seven days) and a shitty record for writing first drafts that I am actually happy with. My 2011 novel, Everwill, is the only one I've ever been at least semi-happy with. 

Which led me to this year's goal: write a novel that I could be happy with. I didn't care how long it took, or if I even finished it at all - I just wanted it to be good

I am 7,640 words into Dreamwalker, and I am not happy with it. 

The first two days I scrapped everything and started over. Everything I have now has been written from day three onward, and it was going well...until it wasn't. I find myself waffling, using the writing more to learn about the characters and develop the plot idea than to actually write the story. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, I hate that I have to do it. 

I regret not taking the time to plan and to outline. 

So while I might keep adding to my manuscript, I'm not really all that into it anymore. I don't want to spend my time focusing on something that's going nowhere when I could focus on things that are flowing, like Crash Into Me. That, and my time could be better spent planning new first drafts and working on second drafts. 

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How are you doing so far?

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