Well, unfortunately, this year’s Nanowrimo has come to an end and I’m just over the halfway mark on my “piece of literature”. I started a little late – the 2nd – so it’s been a catch-up game since. It’s been an interesting experience so far and different than I thought it would be. I suppose I’m too used to writing to more technical things – tutorial copy only has to explain what’s already there – and not things that are plucked right out of nowhere. I can do short fiction (have in the past, at least) so I thought I’d try my hand at taking the month to work up what I could. I only really got the chance to work on my lunch breaks, so I didn’t think 27k-ish was too bad.
So anyway, here’s a few things I’ve learned from the experience. I thought they might be helpful to someone out there:
- Planning is sometimes not such a bad thing
- Working with two or three major characters is much easier than six or seven
- It’s okay to kill people off
- Stick with a concept – don’t write to write to whatever comes to mind
- Write where and when you feel comfortable
- Know what you’re talking about – readers can tell when you’re faking it
- Yes, it’s a lot of work, otherwise everyone would do it
Having been on the other side of writing – doing technical stuff – it’s funny to see how many of these same things apply there as well. Well, okay…with the exception of a few. It’s been an interesting experience and I’m going to go as long as I can on what I’ve come up with so far (27k+ words) and I’m going to keep updating my count on the right to keep up with it. I figure that if it took me about a month to get here, I can get a lot done in December and maybe hit the 50k+ mark by the beginning of next year.
Oh, and Elizabeth, you’re not giving up either :)