I’m about to totally stress myself out and sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which happens every November. Just thinking about it makes my palms sweat. All those story ideas I’ve got lying all over the place on Post-it notes and on the back of ATM receipts, napkins, and in a computer file titled “Ideas” suddenly seem stupid and hackneyed and about as likely to turn into an entire book as a Honey Boo Boo episode (should). Actually, I don’t really have that many ideas.
But I must do it. I really must. I must at least try. I want to blow through my pattern of anal-writing, that is, waiting until I have a clear idea of exactly where I’m going, along with needing to “feel” the rhythm of the words and then once I do, to correct every misspelling, every missed or excess comma before I can move on.
When I was writing Mine Dances, my second YA paranormal novel, I got a feel for what it was like to wing it this one time, to just go at it by writing down what needed to happen next in two bulleted pages without stopping. It was exhilarating. Now, while that isn’t exactly free writing, it did give me a glimpse of what it would be like to forge ahead, right “feel,” right grammar be damned. I’d use the technique whenever I got stuck. Now I want to do it for an entire book.
I made a resolution to write a first “shitty” draft without stopping after I finished Mine Dances, back in 2004. And then came my memoir, Loveyoubye, with all its attendant emotional booby traps and doubts about my entire life and self, and I moved to another level of writing. I trust myself more now. So along with Scrivener a computer program, I’m eyeing (it purports to “help you get to the end of that awkward first draft”), I do believe I might just try to fulfill my resolution next month. Any advice from pros of the NaNoWriMo gratefully accepted.