Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome Back Angel Martinez

Good Monday Morning!

Welcome to Michael's! I'm BL, still hosting the blog. Hope you enjoyed my hostessing. *laughs* Today, Angel is here at our place and me and Michael are at hers. I'll give you the link at the end.

Here is Angel's post on Nano. Take it away Angel!

Why I Don’t Do Nano

For the uninitiated, or the non-writers out there, November is National Novel Writing Month, often referred to as NaNoWriMo. During this little bit of insanity, authors and budding writers join forces against the evils of distraction and ennui to cheer each other on as everyone does their level best to pound out an entire novel before the month ends. The rules are simple: a new novel of 50K words written entirely between 11/1 and 11/30.

In theory, I applaud the concept and certainly encourage anyone who has the urge to try it. A disciplined, regimented approach to writing is just what many writers need. Deadlines. Structure. A motivational tool that helps them move the project forward rather than wallowing in the imperfections of a single scene. More power to you all and I raise a glass in salute.

For me? Sorry, it would never work. Because I work a forty hour a week day job and have house and family to look after, (and I need sleep, silly me) my writing time is already regimented and disciplined. I keep my self-imposed deadlines when I’m blazing a trail through a first draft. Thing is, I write at least a chapter a week. On average, most of my full-length works end up at about fifteen chapters or so. So, in Nano time, I’d have to take the month off work and compress my normal schedule from three to six months into one single month.

For some people, the rush and flurry, the fact that there are so many other people doing it with them, with charts and numbers to track, all of this helps their writing. It would just give me a headache and conclude with abysmal-failure guilt. My brain can’t be rushed through the process. I’ve tried. It’s not a good idea. I know when my stories are flawed and the couple I’ve had to put out quickly, for whatever reason, are flawed.

Is it because I write by the seat of my pants and don’t know where I’m going? No. Not entirely. There aren’t any elaborate outlines, but I always have a skeletal structure before I start. I know where I’m starting and I know where I’m going. But I need the time to process as I go, to let the characters grow organically, to get to know them as you would a real person. The plot details need unpacking and storage isn’t always right the first time, so new plot shelves have to be built as we go. Most of my works involve serious world-building, which often becomes and architectural process with wings being torn down and rebuilt, turrets and pergolas and domes constructed, along with the occasional defenestration of minor characters.

I need the requisite number of walks, drives, the times before sleep—all of these times away from the computer when the brain churns and bubbles. Without that witch’s cauldron of thought, without the time in which to let the brew simmer, I can’t create effectively.

Here’s to you, Nano’ers of the world. May your word processors treat you kindly. May your power stay on. May your PC’s and laptops not crash. May you all reach your 50K and find that it is good and not gibberish written at three in the morning. Write on…write on. I’ll be watching (and cheering) from the sidelines. 

Great post Angel! Michael is doing NaNo as you can see. *snicker* Please visit Angel's place to see me and Michael today with an interesting post.

Thanks for listening


Rawiya said...

Great points Angel. Im strugling through Nano. We shall see what happens.

Thanks hun for being here and thank you for having the muses over

Tara Lain said...

I did NaNo last year and "WON" and it was great because as a new writer with only two books under my belt at the time NaNo proved to me what i could do. I actually wrote the first draft of Deceptive Attraction during NaNo. This year, i'm on book 8 and write in all the cracks of my life. I have deadlines and books to finish which NaNo doesn't allow. I did use the impetus of NaNo to pop out 10K words on my novella this week (the sequel to Volley Balls) but i can't enter them because i had already written 12K on the book. But i'm grateful nonetheless. : )

Angel Martinez said...

Go for you, Tara! When it helps, it seems to really help. :D

Catherine Bybee said...

I thought about NaNo for about five minutes... then went...NO! Great Post...