Once More Into The Breach

Every year, I fall prey to NaNo fever.  This year was no different.  And today is opening day, as it were.  Everybody is off like a shot.  And I’m waving them on with wishes of good luck.  Sanity has prevailed.

Trying to participate is even more insane than usual this year because I have 2 out of town trips on TOP of Thanksgiving and end of semester stuff at the EDJ.   I also changed my project 3 times–the first two novel ideas aren’t being given up, but both require more time plotting and sorting, and I’m most definitely not willing to waste my time sprinting forward  when I didn’t put in the work on the front end yet.  And the third–well the third is fully plotted and ready to go.  BUT, I have significant revisions to make to Be Careful.  

I knew when I sent it out to my first round of betas that there were issues with the second half.  This was a gut knowing.  And having heard back from my first one, my gut was confirmed.  We had a long chat yesterday, winnowed down to what the problem was, and brainstormed some options for fixing it.  I COULD go the route that means I don’t have to change as much.  But it wouldn’t be as good a story because now I SEE THE PROBLEM and I spent my time last night sorting out a plan for how to fix it.  It just happens that that plan means I’ll be rewriting 12 of the original 14 scenes from that half.

And I’m okay with that.  I had life stuff happen right after I wrote the midpoint that completely blew up my brain.  Which meant I pushed through and wrote and finished anyway, which is its own valuable lesson.  I tried something, it didn’t work, and I kept up with the discipline and avoided page fright (always a big issue with me), where in the past I would’ve just frozen and been unable to work.

More life stuff is coming down the pike in December that I fully expect to wreak havoc on my writing life for that entire month, so the goal is to knock these changes out in a jiff and get it out to round 2 of betas, and get it cleaned up and out the door in early December.  That’s the last big goal for this year.  It’s not what I wanted to get done or what I had planned to get done, but the best laid plans and all that.  We have to adjust.

Life stuff will always happen.  The point is to keep producing something, keep honing the craft.  And it is, after all, exactly why I started A Round of Words in 80 Days.

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9 comments

  1. Whew–sounds a whole lot like where I’m at. NaNo has been great for me to address page fright, but now I’ve got three drafts that I need to spend time with in the next phase. I really wanted to go to the drafting party, but this year, this is the place where I am.

  2. I’m glad you started ROW80 so I wouldn’t feel like I had to do NaNo. I didn’t like myself during November those two years I did it, and hubby liked me even less. LOL

    You are WAY too busy to tackle NaNo. And if I know you, it would freak you out if you started it and didn’t WIN NaNo. I was like that when I did it, so I had to win both years, no matter what it took. I think you made a really wise decision.

    1. Actually I’ve done it for years and never been bothered by not winning. I always just set my own goals (exactly as I do for ROW80). One year I wrote a new class during NaNo. I’ve always been really good at just focusing on whether Ii was making progress or not.

        1. Too, I think I always had a gut sense that, while the notion of consistency and discipline and pushing past one’s internal editor is a good thing, and that you can’t edit a blank page, it never made sense to me to just spew for a word count when people were often using totally stupid things to get their words in. Like not using contraction and describing every single thing in the room or whatever–that just creates a lot of garbage you have to excise from a manuscript. Getting something better planned that’s fewer words seems smarter IMO.

          1. That is exactly why I stopped doing NaNo, Kait! I can’t just spew out garbage and go back and fix it all later. That seems so counterproductive to me. My internal editor is with me always, and that’s why I don’t have to completely redraft stuff most of the time. If you write with abandon, you have to have multiple drafts before you can even send them to your betas.

            The way I look at it, if I’m not going to do NaNo the way they want, then what’s the point of doing it? This is why i love ROW80 so much. You set your own goals. Most people don’t set 50K a month.

  3. Like you, I felt the NaNo temptation. All this morning and so on (it is early afternoon here), I’ve been fighting the desire to jump in, especially since all summer I had told myself I would do it this year. I even have one of those “ready to go” projects myself.

    However, that’s not what I should do now or focus on. I think making a choice based on my writing needs is a more responsible choice and the one someone with a writing career should make. Or, at least, that’s the crap I’m telling myself.

  4. l’m lovlng NaNo so far. l dldn’t get too much wrltlng done yesterday because of some llfe stuff, but after l flnally get my halr cut and h;ghlghted later (lt’s been a whlle), l plan to get to lt. Fkrst l have to do some stralgtenlng up around the house and see lf my frlend’s hubby ls comlng over today, tomorrow or one evenlng thls week to get my new smart a** phone set up. tt’s easler for me to do thls because l’m worklng on short storles lnstead of all one book.

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