Last year I made my first attempt at the NaNoWriMo challenge: write at least a 50,000 word novel from start to finish during the month of November. The resulting novel was garbage (and is still stuck in editing), but the experience was incredibly valuable.
There are plenty of posts out there about how to make sure you ‘win’ and get yourself across the 50,000 word finish line by November 30th. There aren’t many that tackle the question of whether you should even attempt NaNo in the first place, or, if you do, what you should do afterwards.
So, at the risk of alienating fellow NaNo writers, I’m going to suggest that you genuinely consider what you’re proposing to do. Does NaNo fit nicely with your plans and goals as a writer? Will that very rough first draft put you closer to your goal? Is this the best way for you to write effectively and efficiently?
In other words, is NaNo right for you?
Here are three posts to consider before you attempt NaNo (one of them is by a non-published author, so take his ramblings with a grain of salt…and a shot of tequila):
- Chuck Wendig: NaNoWriMo: The Debbil’s Adbocate (the good, the bad, and what the #$^% where you thinking?)
- Mur Lafferty: NaNoWriMo Reality Check (why you aren’t finished when you finish)
- My own thoughts after my first NaNoWriMo
And, yes, I’m planning on a sophomore swing at NaNo this year. And, yes, the first draft will be utter garbage.
And, yes, I’m totally fine with that.