04 November 2013

A few NaNoWriMo caveats and pitfalls

As you may know, I’m doing NaNoWriMo on a Google Chromebook. The rule is to write a 50k-word novel in the 30 days of November.

I’ve written a book in 30 days before (it’s called DEAR JEFF). So I know this goal is totally possible. It helps a lot if you’ve done the groundwork ahead of time too. But I haven’t done the groundwork for this project (it’s called THE ADVENTURES OF LOCKE). I’ve done some very basic brainstorming, but I didn’t start with a plot outline and I haven’t done any character sketches. Which means I’m outlining and brainstorming as I go—and that takes a lot of extra time. To say the least, it’s a setback.

I also wrote a 50k word project before—my only goal was to meet that word count. Yes, I met my goal, but the product wasn’t publishable. (It was called KINGS OF PERSIA, and I plan to get back to it some day.) So I wasted a lot of effort trying to meet the word-count goal when my real goal was to publish a great story. In other words, I don’t think a word count is the best goal. It is very helpful in motivating me to write. And I’m glad about that. But I’m wary about this steering me away from my real goal. If that begins to happen (toward the end, I suspect), I won’t hesitate to adjust the parameters a bit.

All I’m trying to say is that the NaNoWriMo rules are not my top priority. I’m a guy that appreciates a concrete goal, so I’ll stick to them while they’re helpful. But I’ll abandon them if they’re not.

I also have a 2-day business trip right in the middle of this which will include a lot of travel time. That will set me back a couple of days.

But enough with the excuses.

I just need to crack down and do it.

So I’m going to.

— J

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