N is for NaNoWriMo

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National Novel Writing Month. It’s all in the title really.

I have mentioned NaNoWriMo in several posts already. Briefly, the challenge is to write fifty thousand words of a novel in the calendar month of November.

As a way of establishing a regular writing practice and of getting words onto the page, I highly recommend it.

I did a warm-up NaNo in October, so that I could start a fresh manuscript in the November. I wrote thirty something thousand words in October and just short of sixty thousand in November.

Participants are broadly divided into two camps. The planner and the pantsers (seat of pants). I was a pantser. I had no idea where my characters were going to take me. It turns out that they had no idea either. Still, we got over the line.

As a creative endeavour and experience, I enjoyed NaNoWriMo.

As a method of writing a first draft, I remain unconvinced. It may be that actually, I am unconvinced of being a pantser. Writing fast, with no clear plan is great fun. It gets the creative juices flowing. Truth be told though, for me, it did not create characters with depth. It did not create a taut story arc. I am having to go back and do those things retrospectively.

Will I do NanoWriMo this year?

Maybe – but if I do, I will go into the month with a firm outline already written.

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