Monday, November 5, 2012

How's your Novel writing going?

So, if you didn't know, November is the Novel Writing Month in the United States.
I didn't know until...this year, I think.
But I bumped into an old friend in a cafe in Dupont Circle on Saturday, and when she asked me what have I been doing,  I said, "oh, I'm writing this novel thing," she said, "You're doing the NaNoWriMo?"
It was as if I said, yes, of course, it's the fall and the leaves are falling.
And yes, I'm on schedule, actually ahead of the schedule. (I wish I were this diligent when I was in college.) But it's not as exciting as I thought it would be.
The idea is that you write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. So, 50,000 is really not a novel but a novella, but I'm sure if they said "write 100,000 words in one month," people would run away screaming.
And you're suppose to "turn off your internal editor," that is if you have one. But that is really, really hard.
So, I, in my infinite wisdom and self-belief, believed that I can write 50,000 brilliant words in one month, i.e. write well every day. Not so much.
What I have managed to do is A) come up with a good novel idea; B) write between 1200-2000 words a day, pretty easily. I could probably do even more, but I usually say: "nah, I've done enough for one day."
What I didn't do is A) stay excited about my novel and the quality of my writing throughout.
But, I'm five days in, and I cannot stop now. I have 8,000 words. I have 30 pages written. And I'm not a quitter, for better or worse. I'm actually one of those people who would stay with a bad investment hoping it would prove to be profitable one day.
I'm not saying this Novel writing thingy is a bad investment. It's certainly an investment of time, and a good exercise, and it's probably very, very hard to write well every single day, if at all possible. But, at this point, I wish I was more "quality," less "quantity."
I also completely neglected by novel-in-stores about Serbia.
The novel I just began writing is placed in the United States. It has one Serbian character and one little Serbian angle but it's a story of New York City, meets Hollywood, and book meets movie.
Writers reading this would probably call me silly (at best) since the whole idea of this "challenge" is to write without editing, and no one (maybe?) can write well without going back and editing.(Right?)
So, I'm on track. I'm "killing" the challenge so far, in relative terms. But I still haven't learned "stay within the borders." I suppose I never will.

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