NaNoWriMo for Awesome

So, I’ve got most of my NaNoWriMo novel plotted/sketched out. So far just up to chapter 12 or so, I need to spend some time focusing on the final action and wrap-up, but I think I’ll be able to get there pretty quickly. Then, I’ll just need to spend some time before go-time filling out a few scene descriptions, and fiddling with characters.

Uh, Dave


I did read your sketches

And what do you think?

That story is going to suck.

WHAT!? Come on, they don’t go into characters or any detail, and it’s just the loose sketch, how could you know it’s going to suck?

First off, I’m in your head, so I know. Second, that story may have started with a strong cast, but the plot has no soul. 

What do you mean it has no soul?

I can tell just looking through your meandering scribblings that this book is going to wander around lost in the woods until you get near the end, where there will be a big battle, maybe a chase, then it’s over -happliy ever after and all that. To top that off, it’s so full of cliches and over-used ideas that I don’t even WANT to like it – See SUCK.

Alright then, smarty pants, what should I do with it?

Go back to the first chapter you wrote up and have a chat with the characters. Maybe pantster it a little bit. I mean it’s fine to apply over-used ideas, but they’d better be interesting ones that are well executed, your original sketch has absolutely no hint of compelling story telling.

So, I’ve got to start over? 

No. Keep some of your characters, dump a few others, make the story about the main character and her problems, not about the adventuring. To paraphrase Yoda: Focus on where she is, what she is doing. Nobody gives a rip about a queen in a tower somewhere, and you know what? your MC probably doesn’t care either.

So what if it’s not very good? This is just NaNoWriMo, it’s just like a super-challenging practice session right?

NO – you are doing this to challenge yourself and get better at your craft. You’re not going to get better by churning out crap that a 3rd grader could do in an afternoon.

You’re a real jerk, you know that?

I’m not a jerk, I’m you. Now, get your rear back to work, you’ve only got a few weeks to re-imagine this story into something that isn’t awful.


4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo for Awesome

  1. efrussel says:

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a big NaNo fan, but I will say this:

    I feel like part of the challenge of NaNo is churning out crap, and continuing to churn it out. It’s not all going to be brilliant; after all, you’re producing 50,000+ words in a teeny amount of time. NaNo’s all about getting it out, but the biggest challenge the years I’ve done it has come from the editing afterward.

    NaNo teaches how to edit more than it teaches how to write, maybe.

    Then again, I’m pantser to the max. So, you know. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yeah I’m not expecting a masterpiece, but u was rather aiming for something that j could work with. I was trying to work out the last few scenes of it and realized it was beyond hope, even after significant editing. My whole reason for doing nanowrimo was to squeeze this out so I could get back to another project and hopefully gain some XP in the process. In the end as soon as I get to Nov, I’ll run with what I have.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jessmbaum says:

    I hate Nanomo. I mean if you feel like writing, write. I get annoyed by the little things declared for writers to try and make people write. haha But I do love the conversations I have with myself, like the one you had here. teehee, those are always great

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dunno, I like the idea challenge of it and the motivation, but it’s not for everyone. If I don’t push myself or give myself deadlines, I might never get where I want to be. Plus, as my wife can attest, I’m all or nothing, nanowrimo is just one more phase of that. Anyhow, I also like the me-on-me conversations too, they tend to be the most helpful, and also they’re fun to write. Bonus: It helped me work out what to do to give my story a soul, or at least a story that I want to care about.

      Liked by 1 person

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