Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nanowrimo Is Working Against Me!

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year thinking it would be a good distraction from the submission and editing process.  I had my idea semi-plotted out, a new laptop loaded up with Scrivner, and a month’s supply of chocolate-covered coffee beans.  Now, I’m not so sure it’s the best format for me to write.

There is a group of Cape Cod NaNo Writers who meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the local coffee house.  They are an amazingly inspiring bunch of women who are fun to laugh and write with.  What I am not so sure about is what they fondly refer to as “Word Wars.”  You get thirty minutes to simply write as much and whatever you want, and then they total it up and log the words. Apparently they have a little word contest going with the Western part of the state.

I can easily hack out 1600 words in a ½ hour.  Problem is they are crap.  None of it is salvageable; I would have to edit, revise, and even delete entire passages to make any of it work.  The other issue is that I am a constant editor/reviser.  Being a panster and not a plotter, I frequently have to go back multiple chapters to make a “new idea” flow.

So here’s my dilemma.  I love being in the company of other writers, and I love the atmosphere.  (Nothing like rich coffee and over-priced pastry to get my creative juices flowing) And there is nothing like being able to sigh, look up, and say “I need another word for poor, but it has to reflect sad and hopelessness as well” and having four people shout out destitute.  Do you think it would be completely rude of me to partake in their write-in, but not partake in their word wars???

9 comments:

  1. I don't think it would be rude at all. Writing is a solitary thing, and we all approach it differently. I believe it is good to get something down on the page so it can be edited, but writing just for the sake of putting 'X' number of words down, to me, is akin to typing "a" over and over and meeting your word count!

    ReplyDelete
  2. No I don't think so. I think that would be really hard, especially if you want to make what you are working on decent, as in you don't have to just erase half of it LOL. I certainly could NEVER type 1600 wrods that fast. No way. I revise and edit, too

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wouldn't think it rude. I think there's something to be said about things like word wars--it has a way of freeing you from rules and inner editors and all that stuff so you can just write--but if you don't find it beneficial then there isn't really a point to doing it. And it sounds like they're nice ladies who wouldn't mind you being there whether you participate in word wars or not. Good luck with NaNo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. First of all, work how you need to work! We all have commitments that make our time valuable. Use it wisely! They will not care if you don't participate in Word Wars. You don't have to admit it anyway. Just work and then when the call time be proud of the three sentences you've written and edited.

    And secondly...how many words in a half hour? That's incredible! I'm up to a whopping 564 for the WHOLE DAY!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Definitely not - you ultimately need to do what's best for you. I'm sure they understand. And wow, that's a lot of words in 30 minutes. Dang, girl. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sarah and Becky -- Thanks for the encouragement, and may I remind you that it was 1600 words of crap LOL! Like Mary said, it's akin to typing hte letter a over and over and over LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think you hit on a very valid point with NaNo, Trish: If you're not an edit later writer, the process can really result in just a heap of bad writing that you have no idea what to do with in December. In the end, I think it's really a style thing. However, the biggest challenge for most writers is simply to get anything down, and that's what makes The Month genius.

    I'd probably look at it as any non-normal progress is a bonus, so even if you only get 500 quality words down, if those words wouldn't have normally been put down on Wednesday at 9 PM then it's a success!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think they'll just be grateful that you joined their group, whether or not you "war" with them or not. You have to write the way you feel comfortable and anything outside of that isn't really necessary. You know the whole "get out of your comfort zone" concept? For me, it just doesn't apply to writing and if I try to make it, I turn out crap too:)

    ReplyDelete