November 5, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 5 - Why this might or might not work

Why I might successfully complete NaNoWriMo:
  1. I have the time - November is panning out as a month of little work, which is fine since I worked so much in October I don't really have to worry about getting by. This also seems to be a month where everyone around is busy so there aren't too many social obligations. Also, I'm not dating anyone, and have sort of decided to take a break from that whole scene for a while.
  2. So far so good - 6,600 words written in the first four days, the writing's coming out relatively fluently and not too embarrassingly awful. Most importantly - the pressure to write is actually there, I feel it, I see it in those little NaNo stats and graphs, constantly challenging me with how much more I have to write to stay on schedule, to be ahead of schedule, to beat the average, and so on. 
  3. The goal is obtainable - In October I dedicated 14 days (6-8 hours of work a day) to translating and churned out over 100,000 words. I won't deny writing is much harder than translating, but since I have most of the plot worked out, and only have to write half as many words in twice the time, I'm optimistic.
  4. It's been done before - Yes, everyone knows Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants was written as part of NaNoWriMo, but that's not what I'm talking about. Hemingway wrote the first draft of The Sun Also Rises in six weeks; Nabokov, after having the idea in his head for a long time, rushed to write Pnin through the summer of 1955I specifically named those two since they have additional characteristics in common with my work-in-progress, and so give me hope that I could actually breeze my way through a first draft in a relatively short period of time. 
Vladimir Nabokov writing
Why I might not complete NaNoWriMo:
  1. It's bound to get a lot harder - Right now I'm writing scenes that I've already worked out in my mind, at some point I'll reach sections that are a little less clear and encounter problems that I could not have foreseen at the start. Plus, I'm sure a certain fatigue will set in, probably next week, and the urge to go back and rewrite will only increase.
  2. The end is not the end, it's the means - Writing 50,000 words is just the start of the process, the novel itself will probably be longer, and will require editing, and additional research, so it is possible that at some point during the month I'll just decide that I've gotten as far as I can with this uncritical writing frenzy and turn to more research, or editing, or maybe even put the whole thing aside for a while to gain perspective.
  3. A lot can happen in a month - I could receive job offers I can't refuse, I could find myself suddenly busy with something involving my completed novel (I probably wouldn't mind that as much), I could fall ill, meet someone, lose my mind, regain my senses, or all of the above. All I can say is, stay tuned.

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