My Complex Relationship with NaNoWriMo and Editing

I have talked about NaNoWriMo before on this space, usually an update that I’m A) doing it and B) telling you all vaguely about what I’m working on.

So for the sake of tradition, I’m doing that again this year (cue the sarcastic “yay!”).

No, but seriously, since my first time in 2015 I’ve used both the official NaNoWriMo and the Camp NaNoWriMos to crank out drafts. One year it was a novel, one year it was supposed to be a short story collection, and another year I finally rewrote a novella into a full length novel. Last year I skipped out on it do to an increase of work responsibilities and time commitments.

The main problem right now (besides lack of work/life balance) is that as I go back and edit those stories I inevitably get frustrated with the skills gap between where I want the story to be and where it is now.

That is why, I keep going back to the computer and drafting out new ideas and new novels, because each time I do, my writing abilities improve with the practice. The ultimate hope is that I’ll take what I learned and rework those first stories into something a good deal more polished and ready for publication by plowing ahead and practicing with new works.

This year, NaNoWriMo for me is not so much about the final word count, but finding and tweaking structures that work for me. It’s also about getting back into the habit of writing stories every single day even if it’s less than 1,667 words.

I don’t anticipate “winning” this year or perhaps any year but my first, but I do hope to have a finished rough draft of a new one-off fantasy story within the coming months, one with substantial notes and outlines completed alongside the writing of the story itself.

JR

*For those of you who are curious, I’m currently at around 6,900 words. I’m projecting that I’ll finish the month between 35-40K. The story is planned to be 80-90K.


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