Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriNo?

A friend asked recently if I intended to do NaNoWriMo this year. I said I wasn't sure. Since that time,  my potential answer has swung daily between "How could I?" to "How could I not?". That's because I'm in the midst of revising the middle-grade novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last November.

Without the pressure to write a novel in a month, I probably wouldn't have written this particular novel—so I'm thankful to NaNoWriMo for that. But writing that fast, without any time for revision or reflection along the way, also means that some of the resulting text is extraneous, to put it politely.

I had to try to meet my 1,800 word goal every day, so I often wrote about whatever popped into my head. New characters would appear and speak their minds, whether they needed to be in this particular book or not. One description (not five or six) about how much my heroine loved to read would have been sufficient.

The hard part now is figuring out what is worth keeping. I've realized that good prose doesn't necessarily mean good fiction—hence, many well-written sentences need to be deleted. I've spent as much time now hacking through my second draft as I did writing that first draft last year.

If I attempt NaNoWriMo again, I've decided the best option will be to try to write interconnecting-stories-as-a-novel. That way, I can choose the best stories to keep, hacking away without the worry of any visible scar tissue between chapters or even paragraphs.

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