Thursday, November 5, 2009
NaNoWriMo, Writing Fast, and Revision
by Dave White
I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo. Well sort of. What I'm actually doing is cheating. I'm not changing what I'm working on. I'm just adding to it, giving myself more projects, and trying to keep track of a total word count.
I've always kind of had a problem with NaNoWriMo. Not the idea that pushes people to write, which is always a great thing, but because it pushes people to write fast. And that's it.
I tend to think people get into NaNoWriMo, think they'll write their 50K and that'll be it.
That is far from the case. Your novel is not done then. It's not even close to done. After you write your 50K or your 70K or your 80K or whatever, the work is just getting started.
I don't write fast. I've never been able to.
And even when I'm done with that first draft, I still have to work on a 7 or 8 drafts. I have read my current work in progress a ton of times. I'm not sure it's done yet. I keep thinking its done and then more problems creep up.
The rumor is a lot of old pulp novelists used to write books in a weekend. While I'm sure that's possible, my guess is they then had to revise a lot. Or had their editor revise for them.
So my advice to NaNoWriMo-ers out there? Go ahead, bash out your 50K and finish your draft, but as John Green says up above, it's not done. Write fast all you want, but expect to revise slow. To get it right and ready, prepare to pore over the book and keep working on it.
Get ready to go back and work on it some more.