Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day 3 of the Forced Death March

It's too early to call NaNoWriMo a forced death march, but it sounded good as a title.

First day, I wrote 2023 words. The second day, I hit around 4500 (total). My three day total is 6844 words.

But much more interesting (to me) is how this whole outline experiment is going. If you've been following along thus far, you know that NaNoWriMo veterans warned me not to go into this unprepared, so I prepared using the snowflake method.  What that gave me is a fairly detailed outline to work from. I thought I would hate it. I thought it would kill creativity. I thought I'd get tired of the predetermined arc and chafe until I ignored it and went off on my merry way.

Day 3 is way early to make any definite judgments about it, but so far, I have to say that the outline thing works for me. I know which two scenes I'll write tomorrow. I know which characters are in it and generally what will happen, so I won't waste time staring at the screen as I wonder what will happen next because I already did that at the outline stage. It doesn't feel any less creative.

I know that people hate NaNoWriMo because it seems to value quantity over quality, but I think that the quantity  is a way to measure writer's discipline.  Pro writers have to create even when they aren't in the mood. NaNoWriMo demands the same thing. Besides, anyone who thinks first drafts are readable hasn't figured out the greatest writer's secret, ever, and that's how to embrace the sucky first draft. NoNoWriMo tells you to stop editing and just write. Finish the first draft. THEN edit it. Let yourself write poorly in the first draft. Rewrites are where true writers are made. So NaNoWriMo is all about embracing the sucky first draft, and I can totally get behind that.

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