Most writers out there know what Nanowrimo is, or have at least heard this strange word bandied about in blogs and forums. For everyone else, Nanowrimo is basically a collective decision with writers all over the world to complete a novel (or at least 50,000 words) in a month.
The month of November in fact, which is 12 days away.
There are two sides to the Nano debate–the avid, Nano is the best thing EVA! and the How will pounding out 50K worth of drivel help me? camps.
Me, I see pros and cons to Nano. The pros are that you get to lock the nattering inner editor in the cupboard for a month and draft…my dream come true. Also, at the end of the month, you can feel good about accomplishing such a huge chunk of writing in such a short time. There’s a load of enthusiasm, camaraderie and encouragement during the month of Nano.
The con is one, but a big one: quality of writing. Doing 50 K in a month doesn’t exactly encourage first rate stuff. If you plan on trying to sell your Nano novel, you’ll have a boatload of revisions to do, and you better hope the stamina you built up during November sees you through the copious editing needed later.
Now some people do Nano with the idea up front that it will never be publishable, that they don’t care about quality and are just there to shove as many cheesy characters, cliches and strained-peas plots in a single novel as they can. I don’t really get that, but that’s just me. I’m in it to create a (hopefully) sellable product.
I’ve entered and completed Nano twice. It was fun, and a real high to write that much that fast. The rewriting though…ugh. I hate revisions in the first place, so I finish Nano wondering why I did this to myself. One book I’m sticking with, the other is in the back of the filing cabinet.
So, whats your opinion? Are you Nano-ing, or not? I’m still on the fence, so help sway me one way or the other!
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.