NaNoWriMo ate my November


I was a rebel for National Novel Writing Month, this year, albeit a tame one. Instead of starting a new novel, I used NaNo as an excuse/permission to put away a draft which was becoming a spaghetti bowl of potential plot threads and spend a month simply writing from the start again, knowing my characters and their situation but otherwise just seeing how the story played itself out, intuitively.   I thought it might be easier, knowing the characters and important story beats as I did, this time, but I found it much harder. Not only did I miss the wonderful support of my neighbour, Toni, in Sydney, but doing a re-write put a lot more pressure on me than the almost ‘free association” writing the NaNo concept encourages. I also found myself back pedalling and editing as I went, more, because I wanted to come out with as many usable words for my After Africa alpha draft* as possible, and I think I achieved that. Nevertheless I got the 50k done, have a new opening which is structurally more sound and gets us to the ‘bad guy’ faster, so I’m satisfied.

As with last year, I’m going to try to keep this momentum going beyond November because my aim is getting the alpha draft done, not winning NaNo, so posts should be fairly scarce through December, as well. For now, though, I’m going to go and have a rest because it seems my new medication’s “may cause drowsiness” warning should actually read “may cause drowsiness all through the next day, too!”  

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