It’s almost that time of year again! Not Christmas (though that’s soon too!): NaNoWriMo aka that month where writers both love and hate themselves (I suppose a lot of writers feel this way on a daily basis, but for those of us who don’t write as a full-time job, this is a special month).
I did NaNoWriMo for the first time last year, and it was an excellent experience. So, naturally, I figured I’d do it again this year.
Just like last year, I’ll have to end early because I’ll be leaving the country at the end of November and would like to have 50,000 words submitted before then. Unlike last year, I’ll be unemployed for most of the month, so I don’t really have an excuse for not finishing.
Last year, I took a short story and “expanded” it – by which I mean, I started to write it linearly, then realized I was running out of time and sort of skipped parts in the middle so that I could write the last two chapters. This year, I’m re-writing my first completed novel, Fireworks, start to finish.
It took me several weeks to decide what I wanted to write for NaNoWriMo 2014. I narrowed it down to four ideas, then asked Ro to pick one.
About a month ago, I decided I needed to re-write Fireworks. In the middle of the night, I realized that if I changed one aspect of the story (what if Max was the one who came home, not Olivia?), then it would make the whole story a lot tighter and would fling the reader into the action a lot faster (I worry a lot about pacing). Then, just as I was trying to figure out whether or not it was worth it (sidenote: if you come up with an idea that’s going to make your book tighter, it’s always worth it), I came across this article from Writer’s Digest and it pretty much sealed the deal. It’s going to be a lot of work – changing that one detail forces me to re-write pretty much every chapter – but if it makes the story more enjoyable, then I’m willing to put in that extra effort.
So, for most of November, if you need me, I’ll be sitting in my living room, wearing pyjamas, surrounded by notebooks and the occasional scrap paper, and alternating between berating and congratulating myself.
I can’t wait to get started.