Thursday, 20 June 2013

Reflection on NaNoWriMo 2012

Hello, everyone! As I sit here under my brother's bed to protect him while he tries to go to sleep, I decided to look back at the last work I did on my sort of WIP. (I haven't written in it since last October... I think) and compare it with my NaNoWriMo of 2012, the one no one is allowed to read.

I have affectionately nicknamed this unseen draft The Set Animal, a reference you will understand only if you have read The Kane Chronicles. (For those of you who haven't, this is a monster from Egyptian mythology that is gigantic, disgusting and generally monstrous.) I decided last year that the only real way for me to really experience thirty days of literary abandon is to ensure that I am the only person who will ever read it.

Looking over both my half-WIP and The Set Animal, I made an astonishing discovery.

The Set Animal may not be gorgeous, but it's fun.

My WIP, however, the thing I worked on for years, is dry as an oven after it was on Auto-Clean.

There is a very simple reason for this. It wasn't that the plot was mortally flawed, though it was. The Set Animal was worse in that regard, however. It was the simple fact that I wrung all the life out of it. Every time I sat down to write, I sweat and bled and stared at the page and got a few sentences out of it. Sentences that I wrote and rewrote until they were 'perfect'.

Now if I sweat that much picking the BEST word for every. single. word. How are my readers going to feel? Like they want to hit themselves in the head with a hammer until the pain goes away is my best guess. That's how I felt, reading it over. It was like the kind of poorly written classic that evil teachers make children read for poor behavior. The scene structure was okay, it was just painstaking to read.

So, I don't know if any of this made any sense. I may well read this in the morning and wonder what I was talking about. But I just want to say to anyone who reads this and has any kind of interest in writing: Don't sweat it. Learn everything you can about how to write well, but when the time comes to sit down and write it, have fun. Worry about making it look good as the last step. The first draft is for falling in love with the story and fleshing out the idea. Do that. Be happy.

The End.

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