Writing Retreat: November’s Getaway (and Nanowrimo!!)

I just realized i completely blew it.  I have a NaNoWriMo 2014 page set up on this blog and I totally forgot about it. There it sits all lonesome and not updated. Ah well…maybe it will be updated by November 30th, hmmm?

For those of you in the dark, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the aim is to write a novel (or a good chunk of one) in 30 days (November) with the “winning” goal being at least 50,000 words. That’s 1,667 words a day for those good with math and consistency.

For others, like me, it’s more like this:

Day 1 – Hey I wrote 5,000 words!

Day 2 – hey I Wrote 4,000

Days 3,4,5 – Ok made it to 1,667 words each day, yay me

Day 6 – Well, I got 1,000 words in. I can make it up.

Days 7 through 21 – …

Day 22 – Crap, I need to write like 23,000 words this weekend!

Which leaves us at November 23. It is the annual South Jersey Writers Nano retreat at Nockamixon State Park, PA. I have written 17,000 since 6pm Friday night. Pretty much I have reached maximum word level vomit for a 48-hour period. I have also changed the trajectory of the story about three times, which I guess is ok for a first draft. I’m a pantser so my first 50,000 word draft is basically an outline. I had wondered if I should start over once I figured a few things out but I am moving on, just switching gears mid-story. That’s what my edited drafts are for.

Some people love Nano ( as we call it) and some people hate it. Probably for the same reason: you basically pour out 50,000 words of crap in one month. I think the people that hate it really miss the point. Words belong to everyone and everyone deserves to write their story if they choose. Of course, writing down your story does NOT make it publishable. That’s where a writer’s years of trial and error, experience, and hard work come in – the editing and rewriting process. (Warning analogy coming!)

Like singing, everyone has the right to sing. But, as American Idol tryouts prove, only those who have worked to train their voices and understand reading music and all that other stuff I don’t understand since I sound like a frog with laryngitis when I sing, deserve to head to the next round. You see what I did there? Singers use voice to sing, and writers use voice to illustrate their character…nevermind.

So, naysayers gonna naysay, but I’ll be a wearing my dragon t-shirt in December.