Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obligatory NaNoWriMo 2014 post

As you well know, NaNoWriMo approacheth. I think this year's theme, Your Boundless Novel, is really pretty neat. They also are having a pre-sale of the winner shirt, and I really like that too. Though I'm confident in reaching 50k, I'll stick with my tradition and order the shirt when I've won.

I've tentatively titled my project The Twelve Apostles. I'm expanding on a short story I wrote in college; it was so nice of me to leave all this expandable material laying around, wouldn't you say? I've begun to think I should do some kind of an outline this week, of the high points at least. It's the novel I thought about writing last year and did not. I know how it begins, and I'm pretty sure I know how it ends, which is a leg up on some of the things I've written (or half written, as the case may be).

It's interesting, coming to NaNoWriMo after a month of submissions. Especially since I re-read, edited, and wrote so much material in October as well (no, I didn't keep track of word count). I have a distinct sense of what my particular writing's flavor is, or what I perceive it to be. There are themes across my short stories I didn't necessarily decide, consciously, to include. There's a certain act structure I frequently follow. I also know how to delete giant swathes from an MS, which is frequently necessary. First drafts are first drafts, and as I've taken to saying, National Novel Writing Month sounds better than National First Draft Writing Month. If you reach 50k, that's awesome. If you write anything at all, that's awesome. But don't pretend it's ready for professional consumption, because unless you're Marilynne Robinson (who reportedly does not edit a whole lot, but probably does not also speed draft), you've got a long road ahead of you. Getting it on the page is the first monumental step when you're making a novel happen.

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