Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo Retrospective: Flexing Wordcount Muscles

Wow, NaNo was such a positive experience for me!

Confession: I was in a little bit of a writing rut before November.  After having a baby in July, I had a hard time getting back into the swing of things.  It was starting to get to me, and that was why I decided to do NaNo.

Previously, the most I have ever written in a month was maybe 25K words, so I wasn't sure I could actually reach 50K.  But why not try?

I'm so glad I did! Since I ended up not writing at all for 9 days while traveling, I had to make up for it by writing 3500+ words on some days.

Increasing your word counts is like exercise: you have to build up to it.  The first day, I was exhausted after only writing 19K.  I had no idea how I would keep it up!  But once I started flexing those muscles, I got better at it.  I learned how to really let go and not over-think each scene.  Instead, it was very much free writing for me, a way to let my creativity flow.

Since I'm a discovery writer or pantser or whatever you want to call it, this was really a great exercise to discover my story.  By the end of the manuscript, I had dropped several things from the beginning that were red herrings.  I still haven't quite figured out how the ending should go, but I have some good ideas.

So what's next?

I think I'm going to let this manuscript breathe during December.  Then in January I will start a complete rewrite, with the NaNo ms serving as a sketch or zero draft.  Yay! (No, really I'm looking forward to it)