Many people will tell you certain guidelines to follow during NaNoWriMo. Write as much as you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s crap—you can revise it later. Don’t delete. Anything.
Well, I guess I’m just not one for following the status quo.
I was really struggling to get words on the page today. Everything I wrote felt forced, stilted, like every word had to journey through a cheese grater before I could get it on the page. And when I finished a scene and glanced back over it, I hated it. The characters sounded nothing like themselves and I hadn’t accomplished anything I wanted to.
So I hit delete. (I copy and pasted the crap-tastic scene into another document before deleting, mind you, just in case.) But then I went back to the original document, deleted everything I hated, inserted a scene break, and started writing. Turns out I was writing the wrong scene—something I didn’t need to show. And skipping over that minute period of time and moving on to the next interesting chunk of the story made the writing flow onto the page (No cheese grater required) and I bumped my word count up to nearly 7,000 words (and that’s not even including the words I wrote and then deleted.)
I was so panicked about having a certain number of words on the page that I was holding onto a worthless scene for dear life. And as terrifying as hitting delete had been, it was also strangely liberating. I started fresh. I started over for the day, and I kept my story moving. (I wouldn’t suggest deleting everything you’ve written so far if you’re struggling, but the occasional 1,000 words or so are OK.)
How did day 2 of NaNo go for you? Have you had to send any of your scenes to the trash yet? Write on, friends!
- NaNoWriMo: Day 2 (bookgeeking.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo: how to write a novel in a month (telegraph.co.uk)
- NaNoWriMo 2013 – Still brainstorming (zanemckenzie.com)