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Musings on NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month finished at the end of November, and I managed to write about 20000 words, missing the target of 50000.

50000 words works out at 1667 words a day, which in theory doesn’t sound that much, and actually isn’t, if you clear a good 2-3 hours for writing. Unfortunately when you work full time, and have a few other things to squash in to your day, like eating, sleeping, reading, book reviews, marketing, yoga, and some down time, this doesn’t always happen. And here in the Southern hemisphere it was Spring, and that means lots of gardening for me. When the sun shines, I just have to get out there!

Some days the writing goes really well, and then you hit a patch when having time to write anything at all just doesn’t happen. And I really can’t force words out if I have no clear idea of where I’m going. Writing is an organic process, during which putting pen to paper facilitates the flow of words and the story unfolds. But if I hit a plot issue, I need time to let that gestate, and I find a way forward by doing other things. Early in book 3 I needed to sort out a fundamental plot point before I could move on. To write anything after that point would have been gibberish, and would have involved lots of editing and rewrites, on top of lots of regular editing. Because something always needs changing as the story and characters evolve.

Will I do NaNoWriMo again? I’m not sure. While I admire the principles, I’m not sure it works for me. However, it did kick start book 3, which is something!
Ah well, enough naval gazing…



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