Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A blast of words

I have only to look at the word counts racked up by people in my various writing groups to know why I don't participate in Nano. I'd be the horse that doesn't make it out the starting box!

On a good day, I'm happy to clock up 1.5k words, most days I'm delighted with 2 pages. I love the idea of completing a first draft in a month, probably because I love editing so much and there'd be so many juicy bits to dig into. Which is the root of my problem.

I can't skip scenes and my story staggers to a halt if there's something in an earlier chapter bothering me. I re-read from the start at least once a week, editing as I go before continuing to the new stuff. And if I'm writing a historical, I take long pauses in between for research. This used to drive me nuts and I tried to wean myself onto better, more productive habits, but I finally realised that creative streams are very much like the proverbial river, you don't get far when swimming against the natural flow.

On the brighter side, once I'm finally done, I really am done and there's not much left to edit--at least until my editor gets hold of it!

Happy Nano to everyone out there, I might not be particpating, but I'm cheering from the sidelines and swallowing down my awe.


  1. Apart from the historical research, this could be my post, Claire. I can't NANO to save my life, but I have serious respect for those who can.

  2. I couldn't do NaNo either. I would start well, then grind to a halt when something wasn't working. I couldn't carry on until I'd fixed it.

    That said, I would love a first draft done in a month as, like you, I love the editing process. I'm at my happiest when I print out that first draft and pick up my red pen. :)

  3. Just the thought of Nano makes me feel faint. I really admire those people who can complete it (never mind the word count - just surviving the whole process is impressive!)

    Judy(South Africa)