Tuesday, November 15, 2005

One NaNo Rule to Keep

Chris Baty, the originator of NaNoWriMo says that, during the month of November, when you're reaching for the 50,000 word goal, you shouldn't ask for feedback. He says it messes with your ability to turn off your internal editor.

I discovered something this week. He's right.

Though I haven't been posting my NaNo novel for feedback in my writing groups I have been posting AND I shared quite a bit with a family member who also writes. Two folks made fairly innocuous comments about it that threw me into a tailspin.

One asked "What, in a couple of sentences, is Liv's philosophy toward life?" and the other commented (after I had read a little scene that I'd written), "I suppose there must be some point to that, right?"

Both questions stopped me dead in my tracks. Neither was meant to do that, but I immediately thought: My character lacks credibility and clearly, I'm not getting my point across. This whole novel is garbage.

I've since recovered (sort of), but I lost three days of good writing over something that simple. Are we writers really so sensitive? In any case, I have learned one thing. The best idea is to blast through my first draft with NO input of any kind. When it's finished, then I'll share, or I run the risk of not finishing at all. I think that's what's happened with Camilla. Too many cooks (or critique partners) spoil the broth.

The good news is that I'm almost at my goal. I have just over 25,000 words done. I want to be at 27,000 by the end of the day. We'll see how it goes. The end of the month is looming!

1 comment:

Judy said...

I think you are right. Even though I've been trying not to let what is said about "Fiona" make a difference, I've found myself going back and adding in, instead of just tearing on through. Good for the book, in the long run, I think... not so good for a word goal.

I THINK this could be a good story, but I'm going to have to find some way to make it sizzle a bit more. I'M even getting bored with Fiona... what would the reader be doing????

Oh, well... back to the grindstone. I only have this morning to work; we're going to pick up an Airstream we've just bought this afternoon. Talk at ya later... and good luck meeting your goal today :-) Have my toes crossed for ya (it's awful hard to type with crossed fingers, I've found!!!)