Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday - NaNo Complications

It's been a while since I've done one of these.

As many of you know, I've been working on my final round (haha) of revisions for like forever now, but for some reason, I just haven't been able to get motivated to get them done. So, last week I unplugged for NaNo, and suddenly, working on my revisions was very appealing—so appealing that I finally finished them. Woot! I even got a few queries sent out. Forward progress! Yea!

But that meant I didn't start on my NaNo project until Friday, so I'm a little behind on that. Even with as little time as I've spent on it, I've learned a few things about my writing process and why the just sit down and write methods that NaNo requires may not be the best methods for me.

I was surprised to find that I can make myself sit and pound out 3000 words in just a couple of hours and not stress too much about word choice. I've been able to convince myself that things like that can be fixed in revisions. Problem is, I've been writing scenes to get a better feel for my characters and their personalities, and I'm finding that I probably won't be keeping those scenes, or they need to change dramatically to fit the storyline.

Plus, after about 8000 words, I hit a wall. It seemed like everything that was happening was so boring, even though the potential was there for some really intense scenes. And my POV character was coming across as a huge jerk. So, I decided to do a little experiment.

I took one of the scenes that was bothering me and rewrote it from another character's perspective. It worked beautifully, creating so much more tension. Now I've decided to do alternating POV's, switching with each chapter.

So, what? Writer's do that all the time. What's so experimental about that?

Well, first, it's all in first person, so it's been challenging trying to keep the two voices seperate. Second, this other character has a huge secret that is going to be difficult keeping hidden if he's narrating.

So, basically, I've just made things much more complicated for myself when I'm already behind. But I feel like I can move forward again, so maybe it's not so bad. However it turns out, it will be a learning experience, if nothing else.

What about all of you? Any progress or anything to report? Just need to vent? NaNo is my worst nightmare because... ;D


  1. I don't NaNo because .... well, because I'm chicken. and lazy. and afraid (oh, wait that's chicken again).

    But, it is interesting to see how others are working through it. I say any progress is good. It doesn't have to be in a straight line :D

  2. I'm making huge progress on my revisions. And it is quality progress. I can't complain.

  3. Well, NaNo is keeping me away from my WiP. That's about all I can say about it right now. I'm finding too many limitations in the story I chose to write, but I've made some notes so maybe tonight I can get some quality BIC time.

  4. I choose to see NaNo as an experiment and learning experience. Anything good that comes from it will be positive. I think what you are doing sounds like an awesome experiment.
    For me, it has made me write more than I would every day. That alone has shown me how I can push through excuses. I also figured out early on that the story is about people so that if I'm stuck on plot points or research I haven't yet done, it's no problem, I write the personal interaction and the story has continued to grow that way.

  5. I think I made the same realization as you. I don't need something like NaNo to get me to write. So I sort of quit writing what I had going. It wasn't working for me, because it's not ready to come out of my head yet. And just because it's November, doesn't mean I should force it to.

    Congrats on sending out queries!

  6. Congrats on your progress! I'm not doing NaNo, but I did recently begin another book, and am happy to report that I was able to find time to write over 13,000 words so far. I started in October, so it doesn't count. :)

  7. Congrats on the progress you've made! :) NaNo is not for everyone. I'm not even sure if it is for me, but it's a good experience at least. Good luck with all your writing and revisions!

  8. Congrats on getting those revisions done. That is a big thing in itself.

    I didn't do NaNo because I am in the middle of a major edit. I really can only focus on one writing thing at a time :)

  9. Tess: Definitely not a straight line, but I agree--any progress is good.

    Susan: Yea! Progress on revisions is always a good thing!

    Tere: At least it's doing something for you. ;)

    Tricia: I agree. It's been a great learning experience, and if you're finding time to write where you wouldn't have otherwise, even better. :)

    Elana: Thanks! Makes my stomach all twirly every time my email pings. :) Good point about not forcing. I tried that, but all I got was crap. I figure, if it's all crap and I know I'm never going to use any of it, what's the point, right? Especially when I know I can do so much better. Of course, that does seem to be part of my perfectionism problem and part of the reason I decided to do NaNo... Okay, I'm stopping there. ;)

    Anna: 13,000 words is awesome! Congratulations!

    Julie: Thanks! Good luck to you too!

    Tabitha: I can only work on one writing thing at a time too. I think that's part of the reason I was so motivated to get those revisions done. Good luck on your editing. :)