Hi guys! I just wanted to give you a little update on how things are going here in Nanowrimo land. Well, as you can see from this photo I am happily engaged in the project.
My story ended up taking a darker turn than I expected with my character who has never fallen in love meeting a girl at school who is in an abusive relationship. It was my first time writing an intense scene like that and it was quite draining!
Even with the intensity I’m really enjoying my story. It is a combination of About a Boy, Erin Brokovich, 40 Year Old Virgin and a bunch of other stories. It’s a good mixture of comedy, drama, friendship and family and characters that really aren’t much like me which is new. Branching out I guess!
Some people question the value in all this writing. I mean shouldn’t you edit as you go to produce something good? The surprising answer is No. We are creating a first draft of your story and stopping can be anti-productive in developing the first version of said story. That’s what makes Nanowrimo so effective it gets you to get the story out on the paper and then the multiple versions and rewrites that inevitably come with publishing a novel would come next. That’s the tough part. The fun part is the power of creation.
Chris Baty the founder of Nanowrimo started it with 20 of his friends who just thought writing would be fun to do together and it grew, and grew to 500,000 worldwide participants in 2014. He was recently interviewed on NPR and I really enjoyed the whole broadcast and his comments about first drafts.
A Washington Post article says about Baty and the program ”
“We wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twentysomethings start bands,” Baty writes on the event’s Web site. “Because we wanted to make noise. Because we didn’t have anything better to do. And because we thought that, as novelists, we would have an easier time getting dates than we did as non-novelists.”
But a funny thing happened on the way to 50,000 words. They discovered the writing process was fun, something they hadn’t expected. It was like watching TV. “You get a bunch of friends together, load up on caffeine and junk food, and stare at a glowing screen for a couple of hours,” Baty writes. “And a story spins itself out in front of you.”
I can really relate to that (except for the date part!) but the excitement of creating something and helping others get involved. This year I’ve enjoyed encouraging a number of friends in their stories and that is so rewarding. I keep telling them it’s not about the publishibility or a section being good, it’s just keeping the story going. I tell them ‘don’t edit. That’s for December’. What a freeing thing!