Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heinous, But Worth It


In writing, there is no 'TRY' as the great Master Yoda is so fond of saying. You either 'DO' or 'DO NOT' write a book. Simple and true.

I have gone to many a conference and met people who where 'thinking' of writing a book. They chatted with me happily over lunch and even went on to 'pitch meetings' with agents and editors. Some of their ideas were downright awesome and yet a small percentage of those stories ever get written.

That is why although NaNoWriMo is going to produce some heinously cobbled together, practically stream-of-consciousness, monstrosities...it is totally worth it to participate.

Let me be clear. Getting something down on paper, however disastrous, is ALWAYS going to be better than never writing at all.

I once received some great advice from a writing mentor. He said that the first draft is supposed to be crappy. Its supposed to have flaws and plot holes and repeated words. Why? Because it is a 1st Draft. Just get the story out.

Embellish the setting later. Nit-pic the dialogue after. Weave in some more mystery or romance or zombies...whatever. But write the dang thing first. Finish.

There will be 2nd and 3rd drafts. Polished manuscripts you send out to Beta readers and to contest and agents.

The hardest thing to do is to put your behind in the chair every night and type until you hit your goal. And you have to have a writing goal for each day. Be it word count, page count, or chapters, you don't get up until you reach your goal. Period.

Author Yoda
Anyhoo...I hope you consider participating in NaNo. Its amazingly helpful as a motivation tool. You can join local chapters, plot your progress on their site. Heck, they even sell t-shirts for that solidarity feeling.

But if you are serious about becoming a published author there is only one way to do that. Write.

I hope to see you on the NaNo site! My handle is Rbyrnz. And may the words be with you. 

10 comments:

Clare Revell said...

I've done nano for years - nickname there is Tels - and have sev published / soon to be published books from it. Thursday's Child was last years ;-)
Already have this years one planned, but as its already contracted - sold on the synopsis - there are no details bar the title on the site.

mooderino said...

Sometimes it feels like fighting Sith lords would be a lot easier.

mood
Moody Writing

L.G.Smith said...

I'm not a NaNo'er, but I'm always blown away by how many people actually do spit out 50k in a month. Seems like it takes me a year to do that. :P

And it's true! Butt in chair is the only way to get it done, whether NaNoing or not.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Once again NaNo and my schedule don't work. I'm always finished with a book and working on edit. And this year, I'm afraid it will be two books needing editing at the same time which happens when your write for two different publishers. I'll be cheering everyone on, though.

DEZMOND said...

sister, when I see books like TWILIGHT, 50 SHEDS OF GREY and similar crap, I'm not sure that not writing at all isn't always a good thing :)

Donna Hole said...

Yep, rear in chair :) I'm not participating in NaNo; I find that king of writing goal intimidating and of course have to break the rules. But, I agree with the concept and I think it works for a lot of writers.

And yeah, first draft is DRAFT. Get it on the page and out of the head. Just write, any time, any way. I put it on the page anytime I can; sometimes thats a few thousand words, sometimes its a lot of editing/revision. Its all writing to me.

.......dhole

Raquel Byrnes said...

Clare - A success story! I love it. :)
Moderino- Yes, does seem overwhelming, doesn't it?

LG - 50k is a big number, but even if you don't finish, think of how much you'd get done!

Susan - You already sound PLENTY busy ...no need to add to that!

Dez - You have a good point...!

Donna - Butt in chair. The secret to success indeed.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Raquel
I came over for the Spooktocberfest and found NaNo. I've never done it. Perhaps I will. However, I have about five writing projects going as is and deadlines. Not sure that can work.
Nancy

Donna Hosie said...

Here from the Spooktober blog hop.

I haven't signed up for NaNo, but will use it as motivation to finish my current draft. I'm releasing in May and I need that push.

Jack Edwards Poetry said...

Good luck with NaNo, I was considering it this year but I have my dissertation to do (amongst other things) and that has to take priority.

All the best,
Jack