Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ass in the Chair

Let me start this post by saying I am a fully-committed NaNo Writer.  I love meeitng 20-30 of my fellow cohorts twice a week at Starbucks to hack out some words.  I love hearing about their WIP's, watching them flesh out characters, and cheering them on when they hit a wall.  What I don't get is Word Wars.

I understand that NaNo is about turning off your inner editor and letting  the words pour forth.  The goal -- less editing more writing.  But see, editing my work as I go is an ingrained process for me, one that allows me to turn out a half-way decent first draft free of hideous grammar mistakes and massive plot inconsistencies.  So setting a time clock for 30 minutes and seeing how many words I can spew out seems counterproductive to me.  Sure, I can easily hammer out a crappy, 2000 word,  mistake-riddled paragraph in thirty minutes.  Problem is, I then need to spend the next three hours editing, deleting, and salvaging what I can (which BTW, was exactly 283 words of 1867 last night!) See . . . counterproductive.

So rather then partake in Word War exercises with my local NaNo group, I have decided to employ the same philosophy to NaNo as I do my everyday writingIt is nothing cryptic or insanely complicated.  It doesn't involve massive amounts of re-organization or turning off my inner editor.  It is a rather simple concept I refer to as  Ass in the Chair!

On an average day, in any given month, I write 2,000-3,000 words.   On a good day, when the muse is cooperating, it can take me sixty minutes.  On less inspiring days, it can take me hours, a lot a coffee, and a fair amount of cursing.  But at the end of the day, no matter what muse or demon I am fighting, the writing gets done (and edited as I go!)

So tell me, what is your NaNo process and how does it differ from your everyday writing life?  

10 comments:

  1. I like your way. I can't push the words out. The last few days, I rise early (3:30) and let the words flow. I usually get more than enough to reach my goal and they are not rushed. It works for me.

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  2. Ass in the Chair is probably the best writing advice I've heard.

    My Nano process isn't much different from my usual process. I write and when that particular thought process comes to an end I go back read it and start editing. From there I continue on until it's time to go back reread and edit again. I know for Nano they say if you get stuck mark the spot and keep going you can go back to it later. I can't do that. I can't continue until I am happy with what is on the page. Plus you're right, finishing a decent first draft saves so much time and energy.

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  3. I agree with your philosophy and am using it this year. Although, I am breaking many NaNo rules, I am sure, as I am actually editing a MS (adding new content and only counting those words) until it is finished and I start on my NaNo novel.

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  4. I'm starting to do that this year. Much slower going for me but I think it is worth it.

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  5. Your method is the same as my usual method, but it seems to be failing me at the moment :-(

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  6. And where are these words? I haven't read anything from you this wk!

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  7. I can't turn my inner editor off, either! Just putting in the time in works for me. Good luck!

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  8. Along with the fellow members of my region I sent my inner editor away on a nice vacation this month. I've replaced her with my inner strategist, who is hard at work in collaboration with my inner nightmare factory on this project. So far, it's working out pretty well. I'm writing more than usual - about 3300 words / day. To get it done, my schedule is shifting, and I'm writing much more at night.

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  9. I don't do nano. However, I think I might change my mind if I had as many real life nano friends as you. That just sounds awesome.

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