So I've been on a bit of a hiatus. We can chalk that one (almost entirely) up to NaNoWriMo and Post-NaNo vacationing. Yes, the rumors are true. I completed 50,000 words on November 29, making me a NaNo 2010 winner. After clocking out on the website I promptly declared myself on a writing break for an entire week. No writing. All reading.
And I read some really good books this past week, including Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Lish McBride) and Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins). It was a good break. A great break. A necessary break, to let my fingers recover from the incessant pounding of fingertips on keys. But now, it's time to get back to work. Work like writing. And reading. And blogging.
About NaNoWriMo. This year, 2010, has been without a doubt my best NaNo success ever. This is my fourth year doing it, and my fourth year "winning," as far as word count goes. But this is the first time I've a) stuck to a story the whole way through, without restarting; b) finished a rough draft (beginning, middle and end) in the month of November; and c) come up with something I actually plan on working on going forward.
In other words, it was awesome. I chalk this up to the amount of time I planned for this year's NaNo, because let's face it -- NaNoWriMo does not (and should not, and will never) work as a productive tool for all writers. But it does help a lot of them. And I really really really wanted it to work for me, so I switched up my modus operandi for the month of November.
The big things I changed in preparation for NaNo 2010? First, I spent about two months just thinking about the story, and then another month (October) doing a rough outline of it. Second (and perhaps more importantly), I concentrated on the story, rather than the words. I dropped my obsession with word count and instead made sure that every scene, no matter how painful or weird it was to write, actually moved the story forward.
And all that resulted in a really crappy first draft -- but it's a complete first draft, and one I'm actually looking forward to tearing apart.
In conclusion, NaNoWriMo? A success. Resoundingly so. (But it does not work for everyone, and if you want to do it you should first give some thought to how to make it work best for you.) Now on to the revision -- expect (many) more posts about that to come.