NaNoPlaMo: The Reckoning

Is it that time of year again already? My birthday has just passed, so I guess it must be. We are officially knee deep in what I like to refer to as NaNoPlaMo.

Just to get anyone who is unfamiliar with the concept caught up, next month is officially National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve officially entered for the last two years, and fully intend to do so again this year, but here’s the thing. Two years ago, I fucked up. I decided I was going for it on November 1st, and I was not ready for such a monumental task. 50,000 words doesn’t sound like a lot, but when taken at the blistering pace of 1667 words a day, every day for a whole month, it pays to be prepared. I went in half cocked, and I crashed and burned after the first week.

Last year, I took a different road. I designated all of October National Novel Planning Month (NaNoPlaMo) and dedicated the time to hammering the dents out of the idea that would eventually become Post-Apocalipstick. And it worked. Last year was a huge success that ended with me officially crossing the 50,000 word mark on November 27th, and finishing up my first draft in January. It was good. But this year I want to do better.

You see, the dirty secret of last year is that I only planned what I was going to write for November, hoping the final act would sort of fall into place along the way. What that left me was a first draft that is unreadable. It’s chock full of continuity errors, characters who just disappear as I decided they had no place in the story, and almost a third of the book cut out on the first day of editing. Honestly, it’s a headache, and I got to the point where I hated the idea of even looking at it and decided my best course of action was to take a break for a while.

But now I’m back. I’m fresh, I’m revitalised, I’m ready to write. I’m also harbouring a burgeoning hot chocolate addiction and a sick pair of shades.

Fear not, all those dying to hear more about Lou-Lou, Lee and their punk rock post-apocalypse, I will be getting back to that soon. But this is NaNoPlaMo. It’s all about laying down groundwork for the next big thing. It’s about looking forward. It’s about getting ready to enter The Nightlands.

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4 thoughts on “NaNoPlaMo: The Reckoning

  1. This post is great. I love that you’re so honest about your reasons for crashing and burning the first year, and what worked the second year. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo myself, but I have two writer friends who are doing it this year so I’m following along as their cheerleader. Good luck to you, here’s hoping this November treats you well!

    • Thank you. I like to be honest in everything, but it was especially important to me here because I know several people who fell apart midway and chose to not try again. Really, if I can help even one person see the value in trying again, I’d be happy to have reached someone. We’re all in this together after all. Best of luck to your friends. 🙂

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