Saturday, October 31, 2009

Speed writing

Yesterday I mailed the second draft of my thesis off to my adviser and second reader, and tomorrow I'm diving into NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Yes, quite clearly I'm insane.

I'm not an offical NaNoWriMo participant, because to do that you must start a brand new novel tomorrow and write 50,000 words in 30 days. Instead, I'm planning to finish a novel I started in June. This has been my stress-reliever novel, my unexpected book, my yes-I-know-there’s-exposition-in-the-dialogue-but-I-don’t-give-a-f***-because-I’m-having-fun book. I'm exactly at the halfway point as I write this, just over 25,000 words, or about 118 pages of double-spaced Times New Roman 12-point type. NaNoWriMo participants will have to complete an average of 1,667 words per day, or about seven and a half pages by my count. For me, 833 words a day.

It can be done. I might not have believed it until my 100-page+ writing binge in August. Now I see it's not only possible but that there's a value in speed writing -- moving quickly can allow you to clear the mental hurdles you might otherwise create for yourself.

Not that it's going to be a perfect manuscript. But so what? Write now, fix it later.

For official participants, you can upload your novel to the NaNoWriMo site for a word count at the end of the month. If you've hit the 50,000-word mark, you win! Isn't that great? Last year there were more than 21,000 winners.

I've talked my dad into trying it and he's officially signed up. How about you?

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