Wednesday, December 3, 2014
IWSG: Stop! NaNo recovery in process
Welcome to another installation of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! This is a wonderful blog collection of writers for all over the world and in all stages of their careers who get together to share their writing hopes and fears- join us! http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html
Today I'm talking about stopping. Just stopping. Not stopping, wandering away, and not coming back-- but take a step back in a project, surveying the work done so far, and then moving back on with it.
Yup- another NaNoWriMo has come, gone, and been won. Now thousands of writers are left with these huge piles of words, friends and families who haven't seen them for a month, and possibly a serious caffeine addiction.
And no clue as to what come next.
I'm not going to go into the "don't send anything out for a long time" spiel-pretty sure all of you know that (if you don't-- just don't send NaNo work out until you've worked on it- A LOT).
No, I'm dealing with the weird feeling of having pulled that hand-break on the madness that is writing 50,000 words in 30 days and trying to get my brain to slow down.
For those who haven't NaNoed, it's sort of like you've been running everyday for 30 days. No time to look at the scenery, or where you've been. You build coping mechanisms to get just one more mile out of tired legs and an exhausted spirit. You. Just. Keep. Moving.
Until you stop.
That stopping is sort of a shock. You knew it would end, in fact often times you were praying for it to end. But when the end comes it's a bit of a shock. You can keep trying to move forward at that same breakneck pace (and kudos for you if you can- I hit 50,000 two days early and did NOT keep going ;)), or run away screaming swearing to never write again, or stop and take a look at what you've wrought.
So this week I'm stopping. I'm taking a breather, trying to put my head around what I did, and make plans for moving forward. I was a NaNo rebel this year, I have a timeline for three books to come out next year and was already about 24,000 words into the second book in the series when Nov 1 rolled around. So my 50,000 for NaNo was on top of the 24,000 already created. For those of you who don't think in word counts- that means right now I'm at 243 pages total (what I had plus NaNo) out of a probably 330-350 page book.
I'm now starting at the beginning and doing a "what do we have here" edit. Not a heavy edit, but just trying to catch mistakes, make notes on characters and sub-plots, and give my brain time to process what it created during 30 days of madness.
I have to say so far, I'm pleasantly surprised :). I'm enjoying going over the chapters this way and will get back to writing at a more normal pace once my review is done.
But there is still a little part of my brain yelling, "What's the word count now?! Must write faster! No reading! No editing! MOVE IT!" I know from past years, as November moves further away that voice will die down. But right now I just smile at it, thank it for the awesome words it created, and continue to stop and smell the story :).
Happy IWSG day! And if you NaNo'd whether you won or not- congrats!