There have been many things said about National Novel Writing Month. Mostly good but some bad (the most ludicrous of which, in my opinion: that people should be concentrating more on reading rather than writing. That there are already enough writers out there to satisfy the demand for the “dwindling number of readers.” This argument is mind-bogglingly simplistic and precludes the assertion that most writers are avid readers to begin with, otherwise they would take up some other hobby, like fishing or golf. And even then, those people would likely read copious amounts about fishing and golf. It also excludes the notion that the act of creative writing, in and of itself, is a worthy endeavor, even if publication is never pursued).
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from the November crush, and likely the most obvious one, is to force my creativity to the point where it comes out onto the keyboard whether awful or not. NaNoWriMo is the equivalent of a writer’s marathon and sometimes it really feels like it. Whatever comes out on the page during the month of November pretty much stays on the page until its time for revisions and editing.
It is easier to edit words that already exist–even to the extent of completely re-writing them, then it is to pull words wholecloth out of thin air. The hard part is getting them down, committing your ideas to paper, even tapping into that Muse that is your unconscious thought (though I like to personify mine and I’ll touch on that in a later post. It really helps, though, to think of your muse as a person or animal).
So write or die… write as much as you can, as fast as you can, for as long as you can. If I could carry this pattern out to the rest of the year I’d be in great shape. For all my previous efforts and for what is in the future, I know that even the process of writing, even if it doesn’t amount to anything tangible now, will make me the better writer in the end.
I hope to be done with my first draft of Violette by the end of December, barring serious holiday intrusion. January and onward will be for revisions, edits, and creation of the second draft. Then, crits with partners (hopefully if I can find some reliable ones who are on the same wavelength as myself), and beta-reaers (again, if I can find any willing). The third draft (and onward) will depend on the general reader reaction and my own gut feelings.
I suspect there will be changes, though. My characters are already hinting at it to me. The more I look and question, the more I uncover hidden motives, past traumas and secret ambitions. Sneaky characters. I had a feeling they were going to do that.
Well, after November, I guess we’ll have words! (the spoken kind, at the top of the voice, and, hopefully more of the written kind as well).