Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Finish the @#$!ing Story!!

Every year NaNoWriMo receives written "Pep Talks" from various authors which they send out to the NaNoWriMo masses for consumption. Typically, I read them and think, "Thanks. That was funny or inspiring or worth the read." Today's "Pep Talk" is written by Stephanie Perkins and she wrote something that resonated with me. NaNoWriMo isn't about writing a good novel.

When I mention to my intention of writing 50,000 words in 30 days to my friends and family, I get a lot of nods with raised eyebrows. The assumption is a book written in 30 days could not possibly be publishable. Well, I'm here to tell you, they're right. Thank goodness this is not GePuInThDaMo! Am I right? (Oh that was a lame attempt at a NaNoWriMo style Get Published in Thirty Days Month)

So, if the point of NaNoWriMo is not to write a publishable novel in 30 days, then what exactly is the point? The point, my dear readers, is to finish the @#$!ing story! Each day consists of a goal to write no less than 1,667 words each of the 30 days in order to reach the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th. The point is not to write eloquently. The point is not to write perfectly coiffed lines. The point is most certainly not to get to the end of the month without a single grammatical error. The point is to finish the @#$!ing story! Start anywhere you like in the story. Start at the end an work backwards. Start in the middle and work towards both ends. Just finish the @#$!ing story!

At midnight November 30th, the goal is to have a completed first draft of a novel. A completed first draft that sucks from beginning to end. A completed first draft with just a hint of the story you started and a lot of a story that formed in the wee morning hours when you were too tired to argue with the characters anymore. This first draft is wrought with plot holes and shifts in point of view. The main character's name changed half way through. Pages 150-153 are nothing but a rant about how much the ending sucks. Somewhere in there is a phone number for the pizza delivery guy. But, the @#$!ing story is finished.

December is for editing. 
November is for unbridled writing. 
No rules. 
Total anarchy!

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