Friday, December 2, 2011

Nanowrimo is over

Not complete, but over.  I did not get close to the goal of 50,000 words.

I did enjoy the process and do plan to keep writing the story I started.

In many respects, I approve of the idea.  The core concept is to pour out as many words as  you can without slowing to edit yourself.  Editing is important, but brainstorming comes first.  Churn out ideas, then throw out the bad ones.

On the other hand, my unfiltered ideas were clearly crap.  If I had reached 50,000 words, I would have needed to use them as notes and write an entirely new 50,000 good words to make a quality story.

Years ago, I read a description of what a plot needs by James Blish.  As I recall, the problems had to be solved directly and specifically through the action of the protagonist.  He said something like, "A lightning bolt cannot kill the villain in the last act, saving the day."  In my story, there were a few scenes where violence occurred and in one of them, a villain was unlucky enough to be struck by lightning.  It made a little sense in the context, but still was not thrilling.

I liked the location I placed the fight in but will need to tear out all the action and replace it.

Nanowrimo became for me, a sort of wasteful and high intensity first draft of -not the story- but the plot.  I understand the need for multiple drafts but feel horrified that if I finished my Nanowrimo story, it would be draft 0.5.
I wrote much of my story using Ommwriter on my iMac and found that to be everything it claimed.  Ommwriter is a word processor that has few settings - it is only available as full-screen - and is intended to reduce distractions.  I like it.  Still, I also wrote away from the apartment and so used Google Docs often.  I know the goal is unrestricted production, but I found accessing Google Maps and occasional searches helped me produce.

Also fun to type in is Written?  Kitten!  For every one hundred words (you can adjust this number) you type, a new photo of a cute kitten is shown.
I have started following John T. Spencer's blogs and books.  I really enjoyed Pencil Me In.
He also started nanowrimo - and is probably finished now.  This is what he had to say early in the month:
I am starting the process of writing a novel in a month.  It's part of the National Novel Writing Month.  You can check out the description here. I plan to edit it throughout December and release it sometime around the first of the year. I'll be posting the chapters to this blog and to a Google Doc.  It's the first time I've ever been so open with the writing process.

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