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Nano and a completed novel?

I read a fair amount about Nano and various writers' experiences prior to committing to write this month. A common thing mentioned is that the novel is in such poor shape that the writer has to do one of the following:

A: rewrite the entire thing
B: revise forever to get it into shape
C: shelf the project.


If you have participated in Nano, what was your experience?

I am not comfortable with any one of the above outcomes because I LOVE the project I am working on. Consequently, I am editing as I go (more than I should) and thinking through plot (more than I should). I am quite behind in the word count but am thrilled with what I have so far. Sooo…I am setting my own *goal* for Nano and beyond.

I plan to write and revise the complete novel by January 1st. Then send it to my crit partners that very day and will, of course, revise again based upon their comments. And guess what? This change in goal has helped me to become more productive. My plan is to double up on daily word counts this week to write at least 2,000 words per day (hopefully more like 3,000).

So tell me, do goals help your writing or hurt it? Most of us write on the side. We have families, jobs, homes, etc. that require attention. Writing definitely takes a backseat. For me, a goal helps to bring it forward (a bit) so that I am able to finish the project. Otherwise, writing gets lost in the cloud of craziness that is life.
M.B.

Comments

  1. I think NaNoWriMo is all about making goals, and following through with them! If that's 50,000 words of drivel, or 50,000 brilliant words, or just a new habit of writing 1000/day, then *win*!

    I'm sure the majority of NaNo projects don't turn into anything, but there are some amazing success stories (Water for Elephants!)

    I find that setting a daily word count does nothing but cause pain for me. Instead of focusing on the story, I just think to myself 'crap, that sentence was only 20 words?!' (Scrivener lets you see the wordcount as you type). Instead, I've taken to writing in scenes. I aim for a scene each night! If it goes well, then I'll tackle the next one. Sometimes that's 500 words and sometimes 2000...but at least I can feel the story progressing each time I sit down.

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