Monday, October 8, 2012 I crazy?

Fourth time a charm?
Twenty-three days...552 hours until National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) opens. And once I again, I am questioning myself on whether or not I am crazy because yes, I have committed to doing it.

I've done it for the past three years and have pushed myself hard enough to win. I hate to lose at anything. And no matter what has gone on during that month, I couldn't allow myself to lose. My first year I was working full-time, taking two university courses and acting as a mom to two teenage hockey players that lived ours away from home. And I managed to win. 50,000 words on the page. That story is still in very rough form.

My second one, I survived living with my in-laws for the first three weeks of the month and then moving the last week, and I still managed to punch out 50,000 words. I worked full-time, was a hockey trainer and taking only one university course. Now in all truth, the words were not great, but they were words on paper and the story was all over the place. It is still waiting for a rewrite. Maybe when I win lottery and don't have to work, I will get back to that story.

Then last year, I managed to succeed again, eight-months pregnant with awful morning sickness and a precious little boy kicking and punching me. Again, I managed a win, but that story needed a complete rewrite and still in the revision stage.

So what did I learn after three years? First, that I do need a kick in the pants to get me going and the pressure of "winning" gets my creative juices going. I also learned that maybe that I am a slow at realizing that going in without a plan just means that I write aimlessly. I do win, but it's not something that can be submitted without hours and hours of rewriting the basic story. Words on paper doesn't necessarily get me closer to my goal of getting published. The three stories that I've wrote in the past are just words strung together that need MAJOR work. Maybe more work that writing a decent first draft and then revising. (I plan to track and find out after NaNo finishes).

So this year, I'm going in with a plan.

I registered Entangled Publishing's NaNo Smackdown and we have a rough synopsis due on October 20th. This will help with the planning and outlining, so I know where my characters are going, what their goals, motivations and conflicts are. I think this will help. Also, there is an editor that will be helping Smackdown participants mold and shape their plan into hopefully something that can be submitted in the future. I am looking forward to this.

A fellow author friend also recommended an ebook by Larry Brooks. I've read some of his blog posts and have two of his books on my shelf that are still waiting to be read (I will get to them in the next decade). I read his blog on NaNo and suddenly I understood where I was falling short with the 30 days and 50,000 words. I needed a plan. He recommends every writer have a plan, even if it's just a loose outline for pantsers.

So twenty-three days, 550 hours left until NaNoWriMo. Are you getting ready? If so, what are your strategies to help you win? What is your definition of winning NaNoWriMo?

Thanks for reading! Happy writing! And for all you Canadian readers out there - Happy Thanksgiving!


1 comment:

Alexa said...

Whoohoo! I'll be right there with you. I'm on my 4th year and since I "won" in my 1st yar now I CAN'T lose! Last year was rough, but I did it. This year I've got the perfect couple to work on. I'll cheer you on!

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