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Why I Suck at NaNoWriMo

Thorn Wilde

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When I write a short story, I usually sit down and write until I'm done. Then I go back, revise, edit, remove stuff, add stuff, read it out loud to myself, fix every minor thing in the dialogue, and then, when I'm happy with it, I'll send it to a beta or an editor, or both. That is my process.

 

When I write a novel, I can't just write until I'm done. I'll write a chapter, go back and read it, polish it, add stuff and take stuff out. Then I'll move on and write the next bit, and maybe do some research for some detail or another (and I need everything to be correct, so my research is meticulous), go back, reread, polish, add stuff, take stuff out. I fact, nearly half my word-count often comes in the editing process, because my rough draft is very stark, often just dialogue and a few tags, the bare minimum of detail and internal monologue so that I know what's going on. I add descriptions, embellish my language, fill out my characters' thoughts and actions, on the first rewrite.

 

When you do NaNoWriMo, you're not supposed to do that. You're just supposed to sit down and write. I have a really hard time doing that. If I manage 2000 words in a day, it's often because I went back and reread and added stuff to previous chapters. At the moment I'm only a tiny bit behind, and I should be caught up by this evening, but I'm not really doing this the NaNoWriMo way. It'll be interesting to see if I make it in the end.

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Nothing wrong with being you.  We all have our quirks, and they rule us at times, no matter what:P

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I stopped participating in NaNoWriMo for similar reasons.  I edit and revise as I go, so sitting down and spitting out a large quantity of words without going back over it just doesn't work for me.  I think NaNo might work well for infrequent writers, but for people who are constantly writing, I think they develop work habits that don't mesh well with the concept of NaNo.

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If I had the free time in November to devote to it, I wonder if I'd run into similar issues given the way I write. I backtrack and re-write all the time and even feel the need to add scenes several chapter back just to balance the story. I can see how that would be a detriment to the NaNoWriMo goal. I give serious props to the authors who can do it.

 

All the best to those participating and I hope some day to get it a try. Not sure what the result will be, but someday. Good luck all!

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If you really make it I'll say 'chapeau'. I could never do that for all the above reasons. Sometimes it takes me days to fine tune one paragraph and then I delete the whole thing because I can't make it work like I wanted.

*keeping my fingers crossed*.

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When I first posted here, it was stuff that I had just sat down and written and then read through, without making too much change to the original content. 

 

It was my intention to post what I wrote initially, and then use that as a basis and get it edited and polished into something good, then use that to go back and have a look at the main differences and see where I went wrong.

 

I've so far only managed to do this with one of the stories that I've written, being Breathless, and I am yet to post the editied version of the story.

 

I should really get it done and see what the feedback is based across the two very different transcripts of the story.

 

But I don't think that the way we write is wrong. It is who we are as a writer, and shapes what our readers come to expect when they choose to follow a writer.

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Someone (probably an entitled man) discovered that such a strategy worked for them and decided that it would work equally well for everyone else. We are all individuals and we don’t all work the same. And that’s great! Diversity makes us stronger.  ;–)

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