Thanks to Coffee and Critique member Tricia S. for keeping me updated on her NaNoWriMo progress. This is how she feels about the challenge so far:
I’m thirteen days into NaNoWriMo and have to tell you this is the most exhilarating/frustrating challenge I’ve ever accepted. Don’t believe anyone that says you won’t have time to even take a shower. I do have my standards. Cleaning house is another story. That can wait until December. Glad I’m not having Thanksgiving in Casa Sanders.
I’ve written over 20,000 words—21,417 to be exact. What a thrill. I have two novels sitting on my hard drive in various states of disarray. One I started more than four years ago, the other more than six. Without NaNoWriMo, this one wouldn’t even be out of the idea chute. So thank you NaNoWriMo for forcing me to get these ideas out of my head. Now I won’t have to listen to the voices any longer. I’m hoping those are the voices of my characters. That’s what I’ve been telling myself all these years.
I’ve actually embarked on this adventure with three other writing buddies, and we email encouragement to each other often. So it’s helpful to get on the bus with traveling companions. Because when the bus stalls, you need the extra encouragement.
I had such a stall on Saturday. My plot was boring, and I was mad at my main character, so it was difficult for me to write the scene. So instead of slamming down the cover of my laptop, like I normally would have done, I stopped writing the scene and started brainstorming. I actually wrote out future scene possibilities. I even counted them in my word count for that day, so I’d make it. When I went to bed, I was on target with my word count. The next day when I started writing again, the brainstorming actually helped me finish the scene where I was stuck, plus I actually ended my writing day up 800 words—not counting the brainstorming session.
What have I learned from NaNoWriMo so far? Put down those writing books and write your damn novel. Once it’s on paper, then you can use all the books you want to help you edit and polish your prose.