NaNoWriMo Day 17: Get to the Point!09:54
We're just past the halfway point of the NaNo. How is everyone doing? Feeling the burn? Gotten that second wind yet? We hope so. William Tiernan's blog coverage of NaNo continues, let's see how he's doing...
Because my NaNo’s a YA novel, this month I’m mining for one gem in particular: momentum. So I’m reading John Green’s Looking for Alaska, a recommendation from a literary agent as an example of a perfectly paced YA novel. Good recommendation. It’s not an “action” book, but each hard-hitting sequence drives the plot forward at a relentless pace. No stage directions. No superfluous character traits. No tedious information drops. Just sustained momentum. (And great writing.) I’ve been amazed (and inspired) by how much happens on each page.
I’m trying to reproduce “Alaska’s” momentum in my NaNo. Every time I start to get bogged down I say to myself: Get to the point and move on. (If I’m able to successfully “move on” I reward myself with a Reese’s or a Corona, depending on the time of day, and then keep moving on.) The strategy seems to be paying off. My NaNo’s a sequel to a YA book I spent a year writing. And so far I’m liking the NaNo better. (So much for a writing process of endless editing and rewriting and no alcohol). I may think differently come December 1, but still, it feels good to just write. And write fast. I remember reading somewhere that Stephen King writes his novels in about three months. Considering their average length, maybe there’s something to be said for the expeditiousness of NaNoWriMo. No matter what genre you’re working on this month, focusing on momentum and pacing might get you to the finish not just faster, but better.
Coincidentally, Alaska’s title character offers an interesting take on reaching the finish line – on the nostalgia of imagining the future as she calls it: “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” Hmmm? If the future is 50,000 words, and the labyrinth is your NaNo, then maybe there’s only one way out: Get to the point and move on!
NaNo questions for this week: What are you reading this month? What authors do you look to for writing gems? What gems are you incorporating into your NaNo?
NaNo word count: 22,576. Still behind, but gaining momentum.