Are all writers naturally insane?
Or is it more that writing causes insanity? I have a feeling it’s mutually enabling.
At any rate, if you want sane and standard advice about National Novel Writing Month, I recommend my blog post from the first week of November, 2014.
If you want commiseration or a good cynical laugh, read on.
The thing I learned in the first week of NaNo, 2015 is that unless you are insane, don’t expect to write a historical novel from scratch and meet your word count. Writing historicals needs research, and research benefits from direction, and writing provides direction. Go back to the start, and repeat until you are floating in a maelstrom of ideas, and have random notes clogging your files, and random scenes written in the document. Ignore the messiness and hope it can be all sorted out in December.
I averaged about 1000 words a day this week, which makes me very happy, since I was averaging 0 words a day last week. I also managed to produce about 100 more pages of pictures and notes and links last week, which is a 50 percent increase over the entire month of October. Since I was writing, I knew what I was looking for.
But, oh, what a roller coaster. I got caught in a 1906 book about masquerades, tableaux and drills for three hours. I felt came out thinking, my god, I haven’t written anything this afternoon. Then that evening, a writer buddy contacted me on the NaNo site and gave me a fabulous link that confirmed that yes, the ball I was creating really might have had a masquerade, tableaux, and those mysterious garments called “dominos.” Suddenly, my inner movie of the ball got a lot more details.
So, I’m not sure what my point is here. Do not despair? No, I think it’s more that if you are producing more than you were last month, NaNo is working for you. Forget the rules, forget the word counts, and just concentrate on the story.
Despite all my uneasiness of “not doing it right”, I had a lot of fun this week, and was productive. How about you? NaNo or not, were you happy with your writing this week? What did you do right?