On word sprints and insane goals

As the weekly meme OK, Let’s Read’s Thursday Thoughts is currently on hold, I’ve decided to use Thursday’s posting time to write about… well, whatever I feel like. Two weeks ago, I wrote about Kathleen Hale and the fear and indignation that the book blogging community was (and is) experiencing. Last week, I joined Asexual Awareness Week to remind everyone of the need for asexual characters in fiction. As for this week? NaNoWriMo.

Yup, I’m one of those crazy people who decided to ignore as many of their responsibilities as they can to write 50k words in a month. In other words, if I happen to forget to post here, don’t be surprised. I’m still writing, just not blog posts.

I’ve been NaNo’ing for some six years now and had, well, not very good results:

2009 – I think it was something with vampires? Unfinished.
2010 – no idea what this was. Probably fantasy though. Unfinished.
2011 – collection of short stories in the fantasy and contemporary genres. Actually finished it! But never touched them again…
2012 – contemporary YA. I don’t even know how many words I wrote, but I think it was below 10k.
2012 NaNo summer camp – YA fairytale retelling. Actually wrote most of the story. Just needed to write the ending when I gave up. Hated the MC, and that middle… *shudders* Might return to it in the future, with… a complete rewrite.
2013 – YA fairytale retelling. Rewrote the beginning three times during NaNo. Eventually gave up. Might return to it in the future with actual plotting.

As for this year:

2014 – contemporary, unknown age. Seems to actually be going well!

Let’s hope it gets finished, and that I don’t stop due to a) annoyance at the story, b) writer’s block, c) the release of a film I had been waiting for ages, or d) school/uni work.

Right now, though, I think I will. I don’t have a plot, only random scenes and points I know must happen. Setting? Let’s just say it’s somewhere in the western world. As for character names, well… I wrote a list today of potential names for them as they pop up, so that’s something.

I know it sounds dire (my inner editor has been screaming in horror this past week at every sentence I type), but so far, it’s working, and I’ve been more or less on schedule. NaNoWriMo is a time to write down a first draft. Despite plot holes, lack of names, fear of lost time, dishes to be washed, paperwork unattended, cat snuggles, and everything else that needs our attention, it’s a time to trod on with a clear goal in mind: finishing. It’s not about the 50k words or how beautiful your prose sounds. It’s about getting it done. The editing comes later.

So, to remind myself of the no-editing commitment I made on the first of November, I am not going to edit this post. I will submit it as I first wrote it. The others, well, those can be tailored into something a little prettier.

How about the rest of you? Are you attempting NaNo too? What’s your story? If you are and have a secret technique to keep plunging through the month, do share it! (Don’t worry, I’ll keep it quiet!)

Oh, and for you WriMos out there that are struggling with the word count, check NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. They’re life/novel saviours.

And now… back to writing!


One thought on “On word sprints and insane goals

  1. Pingback: On finishing NaNoWriMo | Tessellated Tales

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