Now that introductions and setups are out of the way thanks to that last article, I think we should just jump right in with this. What better time is there to writing a novel than in November? Which, for the uninitiated, is also known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo if you’re down with the hip, young lingo. Anyway, the goal of NaNo is to write a novel in thirty days. Specifically a novel of at least fifty thousand words. Which seems daunting, but when you break it down that’s only roughly 1,667 words a day. Which shouldn’t take most writers more than an hour, maybe two if you’re researching a lot.
Keep in mind the idea is to not have a written and fully edited novel ready to publish at the end of the month. Honestly the less proofreading the better, because as a follow up to NaNo they suggest finishing the rough draft and not touching it again until January or February, so you can come at it with a fresh set of eyes and really be able to analyze your work from a slightly less bias stand point.
For example, that fight scene with the robot, monkey pirates was pretty sweet, but did I really need this is my historical romance novel? The answer’s yes. Either way, it’s these kinds of questions you should be asking yourself. Aside from being able to spot glaring grammatical issues you missed, because your mind naturally autocorrects to what you expect to see. This is a common practice I have with my Fanfictions, I write a lot of chapters weeks, months, and for a while years before they get published. This way I can edit them with fresh eyes. This is a good practice for writers to get into. Sure it’s no substitute for a professional editor, but it’s good for young startups.
The biggest benefit is obviously that you’re not going to get stuck in the rut of constantly proofreading and rewriting. Take it from someone’s who written several stories that will never see the light of day. Ideas change. Plans change. You’ll realize things suck. It happens, nothing is wasted if you learned from it. One perfect example of this in my mind is one of my own fanfictions. Shameless plug. Pokemon Sagas: Shadow Destiny. It was originally around seventeen chapters and forty-one thousand words before I started publishing chapters. I scrapped every last bit of it. The current rewrite is fourteen chapters in at the time of writing this and over fifty thousand words.
Another example, my current novel for NaNoWriMo, “The Orphic Seal”. It was originally a dark and gritty fantasy series. Now it’s a wacky and light hearted fantasy story suitable for all ages. Core tenants haven’t changed, like how magic works, but the main character is almost night and day compared their original counterparts. I will, of course, be discussing more about that another time.
Our works age with us. We grow more experienced. Being a perfectionist and a writer is impossible, because you’ll always find new and inventive ways to tell a story. You’ll constantly improve the more you practice and at the end of the day harping over a story is not worth it. Just keep on writing. Tell the best stories you can. Turn off your inner critic and just write.