Novel At A Sprint

I am a big fan of these various write a novel at a sprint sort of challenges.  NaNoWriMo (which I’ve done a few times and usually fail miserably at), 70 Days of Sweat (done 3 times) , Fast Draft (never done).  I have no idea why.  I so often participate and then don’t do well at them.  Why?  Well, frankly, they don’t fit into my life terribly well.  I’ve never been good at what I heard one writer refer to as the “vomit draft”.  I suck at turning off the internal editor and just going.  The microburst writing I’ve been doing lately helps with that, but I still am not inclined to join up for the latest challenge, which is MayNoWriMo.  Apparently it’s an LJ community.  I saw that Joely is participating, and while I’m following HER progress (which is always astounding because I know she’s got 3 kids and an evil day job too), I just can’t subject myself to it just now.

Still, I think it’s a great idea.  Because seriously, November is a crappy time to have NaNoWriMo.  It’s a shorter month at only 30 days.  It encompasses THANKSIGIVING, which means that many of us will be juggling house guests and the preparation of enough food for an army.  And for those of us in academia, it means that last push of the semester toward finals.  The only November I actually “won” NaNo was the year I did it in grad school.

May, however, is a much better idea.  The semester is over (or finishes right at the beginning), it’s a longer month at 31 days.  There are no major important holidays that mean an influx of relatives.  If I were inclined to join the insanity, May would be a much better month for me.  But 50k in 31 days is still seriously pushing it for my sanity.  I need a break from life.  So while final grades were turned in last week for the community college, and final grades get turned in today for the university, and I am, in fact, down to JUST the Evil Day Job for the next three weeks, I’m using this time to recharge and get some stuff done.

So I’ll just keep plugging along with my daily words and waiting for the next round of the 70 Days of Sweat.

2 thoughts on “Novel At A Sprint

  1. I’m not a real big fan of “vomit drafts” either — unless that’s what it takes in order to finish a book. The revisions on such drafts are a b*tch, which is why it’s taken me two years to have a revision plan for the current book. Even the first NaNoWriMo book took me over a year to revise (I’m still tinkering with it, actually, but it’s in the query stage and very close to being “done,” at least until it’s contracted *crossing fingers*).

    But this last NaNoWriMo, I wrote a little differently. It was a book I knew very well (third in a trilogy that I’ve been working on ever since I committed seriously to writing), and I knew exactly how to start and how to finish. It was all that “middle stuff” I didn’t really know, but even then, I had a pretty good idea. Although I wrote it fast, 104K between 11/1 and 12/24, it’s not going to take nearly as much work as the other two “vomit drafts.”

    And for this MayNoWriMo project, I have to admit I have never been as thoroughly prepared to write a story before. I mean, come on, a 100-page outline?!?! But all that preparation should give me a very solid draft in the end, not a vomit draft, despite the speed in which I must write it to hit my goal of 100K by 6/30.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I tweaked the process to work for me. After living through the pain of terribly difficult revisions, I don’t want a vomit draft that needs that much work. That’s not to say I won’t ever do it again — especially if I have a story that I just need to PUSH and find the ending. But when I write fast now, it’s with purpose. Revision Hell truly is hell and I don’t want to be there forever!!!

    Good luck with your three weeks — I bet you can accomplish a great deal!

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