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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!

22 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finishing!
    I tried it once. Turns out I don't like being told what to do, even by me!
    It's a great idea to step back and look at the big picture.
    I wish you the best of luck with everything!
    Heather

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    1. LOL!! As long as you didn't get into a fight with yourself over it, Heather ;). Thank you very much, and thank you for coming by and commenting!

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  2. Congrats on your NaNo success! Sounds like you've got some great new material to work with. Have fun with it!

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    1. Thank you Lori! One of the things I was afraid of was that the magic I felt with the first book in this series would fall flat in this one. I really think doing such a big chunk of it NaNo style helped me get past that :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  3. Congrats on finishing NaNo! I've never been able to go through with it to the end. I do think it's a good idea to take a breather and get back to a normal pace, but make sure you don't stop for too long! Keep the drive you have for this story going.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I was fighting this one a lot- especially the last week. But, like when you've been pounding your head against a wall for an hour or so-- it feels really great when it stops ;). My plan is to keep pushing my edits right into finishing this book- then hang onto that momentum to start book three.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  4. Congrats on finishing and it's great that you made a story you actually like.

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  5. Congratulations Marie!
    I've never done NaNoWriMo.
    It sounds like you had a blast. But perhaps NaNo's not for every writer? However, I MAY try it one day...
    Enjoy your 'new baby'...
    Happy IWSG day!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! Oh, it is definitely not for every writer, I have a few friends who scream and hide if I even mention it ;). But, that being sad it couldn't hurt for you to try it one year- right? ;). Thank you for coming by and commenting!

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  6. Congratulations on winning NaNo! Having a book that you really like at the end is a bonus. No go take a nap. Haha!

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    1. Thank you, Chrys! LOL_ yeah a nap was very much in order- having a 40 + hour a week day job and doing NaNo made for one tired writer. But it does feel great to have something very workable and that I love :). Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  7. Oh, Marie, I know of what you speak. After finishing NaNo, I haven't written a thing....Wait...Yes, I've written about a thousand words worth of critiques, since my month of writing got me a "Danger Will Robinson" email from my critique group. Concentrating on writing for myself, I forgot about helping others. Still have to get a few critiques done for the group to get back in their good graces, but when I'm caught up, I need to do some serious editing on those 50,059 words I wrote during NaNo. Three days after it's over and I go to bed thinking - What? No word count for today?

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    1. Sharon- my NaNo virgin!!! You did awesome by the way :). But yup, don't wait too long to jump right back into that book!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  8. I've finished my eleventh NaNo this year. I was kind of a rebel also. I did NaNo to Write First (before going on the internet) and to set a writing schedule of 2K a day. To keep up the momentum, I am now writing every day working on short stories. Just sent the third one off to my critique group. NaNo helped me get back to writing and my purpose for writing. Good luck with your revisions.

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    1. Hi Pat-- 11 years- that is awesome! I'm so glad it got you back on track- it did for me too this year :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  9. I can't imagine anyone not stopping and recharging after NaNo. Have fun on your break.

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    1. Thanks, Ken! It nicely timed in with my major cookie baking period- but tomorrow, I go back in!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  10. I totally dig your description of the NaNo experience. Though I had never tried it, that's exactly how I picture it. Congratulations not only for winning NaNo, but for knowing when to stop and take a breather.

    Best of luck!

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    1. LOL!! Thank you, Georgina! Maybe next year you'll join us? ;)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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