Thursday, November 12, 2015


I mean, I'm not the only one with "How do you write like you're running out of time?" playing on a closed loop in their head right now, right?

The thing about something like NaNo is that even if you don't hit the 50K wordcount that signals winning by the end of the month, you've still got more words than you started with. More words is good! (looks at grammar of preceding sentence, shrugs, moves on.)

I have stopped considering my relative wordcount. I am pretty sure that defeats some of the purpose of NaNo, but here's why. I'm not necessarily looking for more words - though I'll have that, too, at the end of this - I'm looking for more story. I need to get the events of the book closer to the end of the book. Because of that, I have spent the past few days writing a lot of scenes very very fast.

Objectively considered, theses scenes are mostly crap right now. They're all telling instead of showing, or all dialogue. Almost none of them have any setting to speak of. There are no subtleties of character, no efforts at including theme. 90% of what I'm writing right now is me writing towards plot beats.

I could go back. I could fill these scenes out, and get my wordcount, no problem. I am one of those writers whose drafts always grow in revision under normal circumstances, and the way I'm writing now is even barer, more stripped down, than normal. But if I went back and filled out those scenes, I'd be losing the forward momentum on this book even if my wordcount said otherwise.

And I hate leaving those scenes like that! The only way I can turn off the part of my brain that says, "You know, these are really not quite" is to keep a list of notes - scenes that I need to add in earlier to make what happens later make sense, and emotional beats I need to hit, and also maybe some setting, somewhere, anywhere. If I have that list of notes, then I can trust that I'll fix it in post, and I can keep writing.

My goal for this month is to get to the end of the draft. The only way I can do that is to not look back.