Yes, I'm Doing NaNoWriMo 2008

Update: Due to a really bad oncall week at the end of October stretching into November, I am officially too fried to do anything of real note. Plus oncall’s about to get worse.

While I’m fantasizing about Neil Gaiman thinking about next month, I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again.

No idea what to do for it yet. I’m caught between “Something I don’t give a damn about” and “Something I give a slight damn about.”

Feel free to buddy me for NaNoWriMo; I don’t think I’ll quite get up to the hijinks I did last year. On November 1st, 2007, I did over 6k words alone, over 1000 words in the first hour after midnight PST. My motto was “4k to 8k per day”. Technically I reached the NaNoWriMo finish line on the 8th, with 52,130 words. Four days later I had 84,421 words and started a second book, although my most impressive day was over 13k words.

The test of truth: were they good words?

I tried my best. Both are trunk novels.

The reason I’m thinking of writing some words I don’t care about at all is so that I can stick them up on a website and say I didn’t lie but that seems self-defeating since they will, without question, be bad until they’ve been seriously refined. I’m not a one-draft author.

Anyways. Such are my thoughts while meds are fizzing in my head.

5 thoughts on “Yes, I'm Doing NaNoWriMo 2008

  1. Do you outline ahead of time? For nano and/or other projects? I never used to be a proponent of outlining, but since starting my “serious attempt” at publication a year and a half ago, I’ve warmed up to the idea. I don’t know why; might have something to do with doing six total rewrites…

  2. The projects I’ve finished have involved outlining. *g*

    In order to move that fast, I definitely have to outline. The problem is finding a balance between outlining too little and outlining too much. And plus I forgot in my outlines last year to take into account how the plot affected my characters. I know, I know. Totally missed the point.

    Anyways, I didn’t, so when my characters did change, the plot no longer fit. This was around… what was it… chapter 18? Something crazy like that in a book with 4k-8k word chapters? And then I was flailing about for a while (15k approximately) and never recovered. Result: trunk novel.

    Trunk novel x 2, actually. Happened twice. I would only unleash these upon my worst enemy, because they have the worst kind of break-down: a story you can sing along to, given some rewriting, up until the climax, and then you’re sorry you’ve sung along for 60 thousand words.

    However I plan to do better this year, although I don’t know how that fits into “I don’t-really/only-slightly give a damn”.

    Anyways anyways, much earlier this year I took a synopsis-writing course, during which I wrote a pre-manuscript synopsis. This sounds easier than writing one post-manuscript, but it’s really not that easy. A synopsis needs to make story sense, so you have to build in the character development along with the plot, along with any themes you’re planning on doing. It’s too easy for me to view an outline as just a step-by-step plot thing; a synopsis, on the other hand, is a miniature story and has to play by story rules. Which is why they’re exponentially harder than outlines, and that is nasty indeed; but I think for a big picture, they’re more useful.

    I might take my pre-manuscript synopsis and sacrifice it on the altar of NaNoWriMo 2008. It was quite a fun story and probably has enough in it to go beyond 50k even if I don’t elaborate it much. It was a 2-pager, single-spaced. I spent over 100 hours on it.

    Well, no, probably bad idea; I actually want to publish that one day, some way. I’ll probably do another pre-manuscript synopsis just for NaNoWriMo. It involves cats and time travel, though beyond that I just don’t know.

    And, well, you know what I’m working on, that needs a synopsis too, before I proceed too much farther.

    Oh, right, the other secret to my speed: every night I worked out index cards that detailed every beat in the scenes that were coming up. To give you an idea, every 3×5 card developed into anywhere from 500 to 1.5k words, so they were quite good for pacing. There were nights I didn’t reach 8k, even though I easily could have, because I flat ran out of index cards. The index cards themselves took a half-hour or so out of the day, and I could do them during my commute and all that, and type like mad at night.

  3. Good for you! I had been thinking about it all year, then decided to bag it because I have other projects I want to spend my writing time working on. Maybe 2009. Good luck.

  4. Thanks!

    There’s always another November, although the November we have is the November we have now… or at least, soon.

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