NaNoWriMo 2020

Ordinarily, I do NaNoWriMo the old skool way: sit down on day one and start writing a new novel. This year, I’m doing it differently – but not too differently.

I’ve taken an old idea – one I even started work on – and I’m writing that from scratch. Part of the reason I started from scratch was that I couldn’t find where I’d written the original. It turned out it was in an old version of Scrivener, which I can now only access from my iPad. I’d even drawn illustrations of some of the scenes in another app.

For this story, I need to do some research, which involves a lot of reading. This is great, but it eats into my writing time, so I haven’t got a huge amount done. However, I’m not going to worry about it because there’s no point if I want quality over quantity.

The trouble with NaNoWriMo is that it’s all about quantity. Yes, the quality of the first draft is widely cited to be less important than getting the story out of your head and onto paper (or screen) thanks to Hemingway, but if I’m only thinking about word count, then I’m going to include a lot of superfluous words (e.g. adjectives and adverbs) and circumlocutions, much of which will have to be removed in the next draft anyway.

Therefore, the basic premise of NaNoWriMo seems flawed to me at this time – which is why I only reached 10,000 words on 24 November this year.

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