Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo-- Stretching my Writing Muscles

Thousands of writers have already signed up for National Novel Writing Month. If I finish up my WiP first draft in time, I'll join their ranks. *stretches hamstrings*

But you don't have to wait until November every year to have your own personal NoWriMo. Let's say I don't finish my WiP (Mara's Story, as yet untitled) until December. It seems to me that a personal WriMo would be the perfect opportunity to keep my mind off my completed first draft, off the nagging of revisions, and let the ink dry before I tear it apart. Like a fine roast, it needs to rest before I start carving it up.

Now, TerNoWriMo (that's Tere's Novel Writing Month, of course) would still follow the same guidelines as NaNoWriMo-- write 50K in 30 days. This will help keep me focused, goal oriented, and, most importantly, distracted from Mara's finished first draft. And when that 30 days is done, I'll return to my WiP to begin my second draft and then send it out to betas. Switching gears on projects like that really helps to promote creativity-- for me, anyway-- and will also provide me with an established, well-rested project to become my new WiP while I'm querying my old one.

I think this cycle will work pretty well for my writing because it will keep me from becoming too familiar with my work, which is one of my biggest hurdles. Ooh, you know how I love writing metaphors, so we can't skip this one...

To me, this new cycle of writing is a bit like a decathalon track. At first glance it seems pretty predictable-- it goes around in an endless oval, with a smooth running surface. But different events require different skills. A WriMo is a bit like a sprint, while revisions are definitely the 400 meter hurdles. The initial idea of a new story is sort of like the High Jump, where the realm of possibilities is wide open and you shoot for the moon. Plotting is like the Long Jump.

Querying imakes me think of the shot put at first, becoming more like discus throwing as you widen your query parameters.

So reading rejections must be like stabbing yourself in the foot with a javelin. ;)

Are you gearing up for NaNo? Planning ahead, or pantsing?

Good luck to everyone who participates!


Susan R. Mills said...

I'm also trying to finish up my current project in the next 15 days so that I can join in on NaNo. I have a general idea for the story I'll be writing, and I tried to outline it, but I think I'll be pantsing it. Outlines just don't work for me.

Tere Kirkland said...

Well, good luck with your WiP, Susan, and have fun with NaNo if you participate.

I need to have some kind of idea of where I'm going to start the story, since openings give me a headache. I'm not counting on it being perfectly written. I just want to know where and how to begin before I start writing.

Abby said...

No participation for me this year. My life's too crazy. Maybe I'll join you for TerNoWriMo. Or I'll just pretend I'm participating in NaNo and try to have my revisions done by then so I can try to pound out 50,000 words on my WIP.

Be good for me to learn to write without editing. :) Don't know if my annoying perfectionist self will let it happen, though.

And I'll always be a pantser, I'm afraid. Regardless of my participation in NaNo.

Good luck! Wish I was that close on my WIP. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Oh, you pantsers! I swear, when I'm published, I'll have all my notebooks on display at the TereMuse-eum, and y'all will see the true extent of my rampant grapho-mania. I can't write a book without filling up at least one notebook with my notes and scene goals and scheming and backstory.

Hardygirl said...

Hmm. I'm on the fence, but it's probably just what I need. I've got a wip that will need to be put aside to simmer in a couple of weeks, too.


Anonymous said...

Yay for NaNo! This will be my first year. Excited and nervous. :) I'm Red.Ink.Rain on the website if you want a writing buddy!

Tere Kirkland said...

Sarah, I'm never one to pile on the peer pressure, but if you've got a wip that needs simmering, NaNo might be a fun distraction.

Kristin, I may not actually sign up on the site, but I'm still going to participate. I figure there will be a lot of AW threads on NaNo in November, enough to keep me going. Good seeing you around here, and I always need writing buddies!