I know, two NaNo posts in a row, and following Sarah's posts as well. I promise this will be my last NaNo pondering, and as of next week, I will go back to cool monsters and possible discussion of killing/torture methods. You know, the good stuff.
I am what is known as a 'pantser'. For those who might not be familiar with the terminology, a 'pantser' is someone who writes by without a plot figured out or a lot of planning. I start out with characters and a rough idea of where I'm going, and then just write. The other end of this is a 'plotter', which is a little more self-explanatory.
I have come to the conclusion that NaNo is not kind to the pantser. Because I have to ponder over my words and linger over decisions over where I should go next, just writing like a demon means I don't have that time. As a result, though it's not the only reason, my words have indeed stalled over the last few days.
Will I make the 50,000 words? Not sure. I would like to, and it certainly is possible - if I get a clear idea of where I'd like to go, I can write quickly.
But I don't want to write pure crap. I don't want to write a book that I'm going to throw out as soon as November ends, or just as bad, one that I'll have to take the next year revising because there is a kernel of a good story hidden, but it's surrounded by trash. Because I'm in the process of becoming a career writer, I need to be careful over wasting time that I'm given to write my book.
So, as for now, I am backing off on winning NaNo. Instead, I will take the good lessons from NaNo and apply them to my life. The biggest being, I need to somehow work on my writing everyday. No more days where I get to bedtime and wonder where all the time went, and why wasn't I able to get any writing done. If NaNo has proven nothing else to me, it has proven that more often than not, if I wasn't able to get any writing done that day, it was because I was wasting time, not that there was no time to be spared.
NaNo truly is great. It brings an energy and a camaraderie to writers, something that we in such a solitary profession very seldom feel elsewise. It revitalizes us and challenges us to look at our habits and processes in a new way. It gives our families a chance to see, yes, this writing stuff really is work, and maybe they will also appreciate it a little more as a result.
I hope my fellow writers who are doing NaNo are reaping the benefit from it as well. To my fellow pantsers, do you agree with my assesment of how NaNo treats us? You plotters out there, is NaNo easy for you?
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