It’s Almost NaNoWriMo Time!
November is approaching and so my mind is on NaNoWriMo once again. For those who don’t know what that is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. This is an event that takes place every November, where anyone who wants to try to produce a novel can challenge themselves to write (at least) 1,667 words per day, to produce a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. NaNoWriMo 2017 will be the third time I will participate.
I wrote Artifact of the Dawn during NaNoWriMo 2015. What I produced was a rough draft, but I was very proud of having put down into words this story that had been whirling around in my brain. It was by no means perfect, but it was a good start. I then took 2 years to edit what I’d written and I continue to put a little spit-and-polish on it even now. Prior to November 2015, I did do about six-months of preparation before I began writing the novel as well. I spent time writing out my character and world descriptions, developing a rudimentary language for my elves and then outlining the entire story. I attribute that preparation to my success with NaNoWriMo that year.
For NaNoWriMo 2016 I chose to write a fan fiction story because I wasn’t ready to tackle the next novel in my series yet. While I normally don’t use outlines for fan fiction stories, I decided I needed one if I was going to do it for NaNoWriMo. An outline helps me to stay focused and when I’m trying to complete a story in a short amount of time, focus is very important. It also helps me get past stages of writer’s block when I lack the inspiration to continue the story. Reminding myself what I had planned to write helps me get past those phases and keeps me writing. While I completed just over 50,000 words for my novel in 2015, for my fan fiction story I completed 71,000 words in the same time frame. Personally, I was shocked I wrote that much.
For NaNoWriMo 2017 I feel ready to write the sequel to Artifact of the Dawn. The current working title is Artifact of the Sundering (that may change) and I’m naming my series “Artifacts of Truth.” I plan to write a total of five novels for this series and I have a basic idea already what each novel will contain. This time around I won’t need to do as much preparation as I already have the world and most of the characters figured out from the first book. All I need is to complete the outline before November and I should be able to just dive in on November 1. I will most likely tweet my progress throughout November as I write.
Why do I do NaNoWriMo?
I’m one of those people who thrives under deadline pressure. My best work is done at the last minute, at 2 am the day before a deadline. Even back in school, whenever I tried to finish an assignment early, it was never as good and I would often get Cs and Bs when I was used to getting As on my work. If I waited until the last minute, then my synapses in my brain just start firing and the work I produce is just that much better. I have no idea why my brain is wired like this, but I stopped fighting it years ago.
So, NaNoWriMo gives me that deadline pressure on a daily basis, which keeps me focused on the task of writing. I’ve found the best way for me to write is to just simply write. I just pour the story, raw and unedited, onto each blank page and I don’t look back until the entire story is written. Once NaNoWriMo is over, I generally set aside the text for a few weeks before I go through my first round of edits. It took me two years to edit my first novel (and as I wrote in my last post, I’m still making revisions). I learned a lot while working on the first novel, so I’m hoping the editing will come faster for the second one.
I will admit I get excited for NaNoWriMo every year now and I am truly looking forward to working on this next novel. Stay tuned as November approaches and I start making more updates regarding my progress.
By the way, what do you think of the title Artifact of the Sundering? (Without knowing anything else about the novel yet).