Monday, December 03, 2007

Nanofailure

Why do I even kid myself that I can do Nanowrimo???? Fast is just not how I write best. I need to think about my book, or type ideas for scenes instead of actual scenes, or go back and think about my overall character arc, in between those great days where everything is flowing like magic. If I just keep typing, it's often a waste of time and energy and simply crap.

I did less than 17K this Nanoseason. I guess that's nothing to sneeze at. But if I'm honest about it, at least 5K of that will be completely cut and the remaining 12K will need significant revision. If I hadn't been doing Nano the 5K I know is all wrong would have been gone already, but no way do you cut anything, even redundant words, when you're aiming for that 50K goal.

I wish I'd done better... Sigh.

How about you? Can you write fast? I promise I won't hold it against you. Much.

14 comments:

Kimber Chin said...

If I'm not on a contract gig
AND I've plotted the novel out,
I can finish a 70,000 word first draft in a month.

(But then it took me 8 months while working a contract gig to plot it).

No sense writing garbage.
Plus why is NaNo in NOVEMBER?
I don't even have time to breathe
then.

Celeste said...

Don't be sad Maureen, I didn't do it either :( Oh well. You still rock.

Maureen McGowan said...

Kimber,
It is sick that it's in November, isn't it!!! I mean, why not March? (I'd pick Feb, except for the fewer days thing.)

Celeste, Glad to have some company in No-nanoland

Sinead M said...

Maureen, I sucked more.. guess I should have had a better thought of what I wanted to write going in..

L.A. Mitchell said...

Maureen,
I'm so proud of you for participating!! I do FastDraft my first time through, two weeks, but a turtle could rewrite and edit faster than I could in the next two drafts.

Cherry Adair once told me if you can't write a book and finish it in 9 months, you'll never make this a career. Not sure if I agree with her, although I understand the pressure to produce and keep your brand out there.

I try to judge my speed only by what I've accomplished in the past, not against what others can do.

Maureen McGowan said...

Wow, L.A.

How many hours a day in those 2 weeks? I'm very jealous of that.

I think Ms. Adair is right in the romance genre. At least in most of the sub-genres. I'm in a critique group that includes some slightly more literary writers and they have been told by their agents and editors that it's absurd to think a good book can be done in less than a year and also in another critique group where one of my CP's writes (and publishes) 3 a year. Sigh.
9 months is what I'm personally striving for, though. Right now I'd settle for a year.

Kimber Chin said...

I think required speed depends on what type of career you want (again back to that).

If you're writing category and you want to be on shelf, you'll need to write more than one book a year.

If you're writing single title, not so much.

I'm a 1.5 novel a year gal (1 novel, 1 novella). More than that and it is not fun for me.

You know... this would be a great full blog posting topic. I'd love to hear people's comments on it.

Bonnie said...

I agree with Kimber, that would be a great blog topic. Now go write it up!

Don't beat yourself up over Nano-lame-o (as I like to call it); I've only "won" once and that effort will never see the light of day.

When it comes to my writing speed, it slows down for novels and speeds up for anything else. ;)

Eileen said...

I'm a very spurty writer. Great one day- shitty the next, up one week, delete everything the next. If it makes you feel better I've never even attempted NaNo.

Barrie said...

Maureen--don't be so hard on yourself. You got 17K written!! And, even if you think you'll have to cut 5K, there might be a really good thought in there that you wouldn't have captured otherwise. I generally don't write too fast, but just today I threw a progress meter on my blog to see if that would keep me moving. And I agree with everyone--November? How about September? That would work better for me.

Marilyn Brant said...

Good for you even trying Nano... I panicked at the idea of completing anything in 30 days, so I signed up for the 70 Days of Sweat Challenge (which started Oct.15 and goes until mid-Jan., with time off for the holidays). But even with all of that extra time, I'm still not racing through this manuscript. I'm a S-L-O-W writer, and I can't trick myself into speeding up the process. Wish I could...

L.A. Mitchell said...

Maureen,
I should probably qualify my two week SUPER FAST DRAFT by saying it's the worst drivel ever written in the history of the world. Sometimes I'll read back over a scene and think, "Hey, this is pretty good", but mostly it's bad dialogue, lines that read "...and then something really scary happens here" and cliched characters. It's only two weeks and helps me to get the broad scope in my mind--to find out if it'll really work and what scenes I'll need before I waste any time perfecting it. I can pretty much bribe my family to leave me alone for two weeks, but if I asked for a month for Nano, I'd be pushing it:O

Michelle Rowen said...

With a detailed outline, I can write 20 pages a day. Without a detailed outline I can write 20 pages a day of crap. I think part of writing fast is believing you can do it. And then, possibly, having a nervous breakdown. It all helps.

Christine d'Abo said...

You produced, that's all that NaNo is about. Congratulations for trying and getting something done. :)

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