Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNo Wrap-Up

I haven't posted much about NaNoWriMo and the struggles I've endured this month in accomplishing my goals because I believe that excuses are like assholes - everybody's got one and they all stink. That being said, I've got a different view on NaNo that I'm not sure many other people have.

I hate it.

No seriously, I intensely dislike NaNo. Not saying others have to feel that way, but it's how I feel personally. Don't get me wrong, anything that gets anyone to sit down and pour out the words in their heads and hearts for any length of time is fantastic. What I don't like is how I can't follow the rules.

The concept is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Essentially, this creates a novel. You're supposed to keep writing continuously without giving thought to errors, editing, misspellings, grammatical mistakes, etc. Don't edit. Write in any order it comes to you. KEEP WRITING! Our Iowa group's motto is "Yay, crap!" meaning whatever you type, keep it and edit it later.

I. Can't. Do. That.

First of all, I have to write in chronological order. Period. I can do flashbacks like nobody's business, but overall, I write things in order. I've never been able to read a book series by starting anywhere but the first book and if an author puts out a prequel after the series has been published, I get pissed because I feel like I should've read it first. I know, I know. Ridiculous, but it's how I am. Always have been.

Secondly, when I write, I don't use an outline, so the stuff I write is something that comes to me as I write it. This means to make sure what I've written is factually accurate (I'll come back to that), I research it as it comes into my head. For instance in my first book, I determined that my character lived on 69th Street in New York City. I personally walked the street she lived on in my book. I also walked to the next block where another character "lived." Obviously I don't always go to this extent, but if it can be found online, I will find it and research the hell out of it. This takes extensive amounts of time to do and essentially takes up time that, during NaNo, should be spent writing. 

And in regards to this factual accuracy thing - it's an absolute. I'm the person who will watch a movie or TV show and holler out "FILM FLUB!" whenever something isn't right. I catch every detail that isn't right and I call it out, even going so far as to find proof of their mistake online. I've been this way since I was a kid and that won't change anytime soon. That being said, it's natural that my books will be as factually accurate as possible. I detest the thought that someone will read my book and say "There's no way that person could've gotten from that street to the other street in two subway stops" or whatever the case may be. I don't want anyone to shout out "BOOK FLUB" when they read my stuff.

These are the first three hurdles I must endure when racing through November. The others are smaller and simply excuses that aren't worth a crap - I was sick for about a week and slept 80% of the time; I was under a great deal of stress regarding a possible relocation for our family; I've been busier this year than I have been in past years and haven't had as much time devoted to writing. But really, my biggest excuse for not finishing all fifty-thousand words is the internet. Between Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (oh, you dirty, dirty whore!) and crap like Candy Crush and Words with Friends, I wasted most of my time doing stupid, pointless things that should've been spent writing.

I don't blame anyone for my lack of "success" with NaNo. It's my own fault and I own it. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

It does, however, mean I have my work ahead of me in December and January to finish the second book in my series so it can be published in the spring like I want. 

To those who "won" NaNo, congratulations. To the rest of you who didn't "win," I still think if you got anything written this month, that's a win. The point is to write and if you did it, then you did it. Congratulations to you, too!

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