For me, November always means another novel with NaNoWriMo. During the month, there are plenty of things to read on both sides – writers who love it and writers who avoid it.
I don’t think it’s fair to say people hate it if they haven’t tried it. Part of it might be because of books like No Plot? No Problem! The challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and they recommend little to no preparation – to simply dive into a novel and write.
I think a lot of writers just dive into a novel and write in their first attempts. I know I did for several – and the few I managed to finish in that time were in such disarray it has taken and will take me years to sort them out.
NaNo 2012 has come and gone, and I have a new novel to work on called The Next Jane. It weighs in at about 73,000 words. I hit 50,000 on Day 15, but the second half of the month presented challenges to keep me from hitting 100,000.
I know several writers who have embarked on sequels to a previous work and we are working toward using outlines and all kinds of preparatory work to make sure it is something that has a chance to be salvaged. I mean, we could have a nice romantic comedy going on and then have aliens land to get to the word count, but we’re reaching beyond that. Check out this list of published WriMos.
The beauty of the energy and the camaraderie of NaNoWriMo helps to turn off the internal editor long enough to get the rough draft out. You can challenge yourself to finish another scene, another chapter, another book. We post our word counts and compete with what we did the previous year. This year, I wrote more words than I have before in the month of November. I’m proud that I finished the entire draft of the novel, which was my goal in the first place.
The rest can be fixed later. I’m fixing my last in-progress novel, and then I’ll be back with TNJ until I get it in order. I really want that one to be great. Plus, I have two sequels planned.