It blows my mind that NaNoWriMo is here again. Last November I decided to give NaNo a try for the first time. I got totally sucked into it and wrote like crazy. After I won at the end of November, I had grand plans to keep right on writing at the pace I had been going throughout the course of the month. My plan was to have my first draft entirely finished by the end of December (the following month), and then start working on rewrites and edits with a final draft ready for submission by March or April.
That didnt’ quite go as planned. Come December 1, every single bit of writing motivation that I had amassed over a crazy November of NaNo . I didn’t write one single word until June of this year when I forced myself to sit down in the hopes of reigniting the fires. Well, it didn’t work. I wrote a thousand words or so, and then didn’t look at it again until November 1.
As October wore on, I knew that NaNoWriMo was coming, and I started getting excited for it. But, not excited like last time. I had gone so long without really writing, that the thought of getting back into it seemed overwhelming to me. It had been a year since I had last read my manuscript, and I couldn’t remember the important details right down to certain character’s names.
Well, as usual, I procrastinated and didn’t reread my manuscript like I had hoped to. Enter November 1.
I realized at about 8:00 p.m. that NaNo had started, and I was totally unprepared. I sat down at the computer and pulled up my manuscript. It was overwhelming. I couldn’t remember what my characters were doing when I last left off. There was no way I could possibly pick up where I left off. And I am a discovery writer, so I had to know what was going on when I last wrote.
The thought actually entered my head that maybe I just wouldn’t worry about it this year. Maybe I would look at doing it again next year. BLASPHEME! So I forced myself to start writing. Since I knew I couldn’t just pick up where I left off, I did something I have NEVER done before–I wrote a scene out of sequence. Something I knew needed to happen but I wasn’t to it yet. The benefit was that it let me start writing right away, and I figured that I would reread the next day. Anyway, I barely met my 1667 daily words that first day with just over 1800 actually written. When day 2 came, I still hadn’t read anything, but I knew I had another scene I could work on, so I jumped into it, writing just over 2000 words.
By the time Day 3 came around, I was in trouble. I sat down at the computer earlier in the day (normally I’m a late night writer) and realized that I just couldn’t write anymore without reading. So, I sucked it up and made the decision that day 3 would have now writing. I sat down and powered through the second half of my manuscript. I’m SO glad that I did. SO many things I had forgotten. So many things. Anyway, I read through that evening and into yesterday (day 4). By the late afternoon yesterday, I was caught up on reading, the story was again fresh in my mind, and I just launched into it. I stayed up late into the night writing almost 4300 words.
It was invigorating in a way I haven’t felt since last November. I’ve said this before (and this makes my wife CRAZY), but I’m a pure discovery writer. I don’t have the slightest idea where my story is going until my fingers are flying across the keyboard. A frequent conversation in our house after my wife read’s the day’s output is for her to ask what’s this guy going to do? Or what’s gonna happen to that guy? My response (which drives her CRAZY) is “I don’t have the first darn clue, but I’m as excited to find out as you are!!!.
Anyway, the story came alive to me again yesterday in a way I had forgotten. I love the thrill of having the story just open itself to me as I’m going along. I literally feel like I’m reading this novel as I’m writing it because I don’t know what comes next.
Now, obviously, discovery writing has its shortcomings. I’m going to have to do a pretty extensive rewrite because stuff has changed as I’ve gone along. But, I’m quite excited to finish this novel and start into the rewrite.
Anyway, I wrote 2300 words or so today and finally called it quits. I was up way too late last night, and I had a long day at the office today. But, the most fun thing about NaNo (and I remember this from last year), is sitting at my office all day excited about the chance of writing the coming evening. So, I’m already excited for tomorrow.
Anyway, it’s been WAY too long since I updated this blog, and with NaNoWriMo in full swing, I’m going to have lots of updates and lots to write about. I’ve updated the progress bar to show where I’m at for this year’s NaNo. If all goes well, by the time this month is over, my first draft will be DONE!!! Wish me luck… A capture of my stats is below. 11,431 words and counting.