Nano: The Final Week

Those of us who are writing novels or blogging daily in the month of November are facing the home stretch; many of us are being asked many of the same questions, so I thought that I’d address some of them here…

Q: Will you finish?

A: Of course we will. It’s what we do, we crazy writers. We set a goal to write 50K in one month, and we do it. We never said it was going to be pretty (although some great things do happen when you write 50K in one “sitting”).

Q: Is any of it good?

A: It’s all good, if you ask me. It’s a vomit draft, and therefore it serves its purpose to have words on a page to work with. This activity, this exercise in writing, is making the clay–lots of clay–to spend a whole year molding into something worthy of sending off for representation.

Q: What happens after you finish?

A: You take a breather–at least I do. Last year, I took off two weeks before I just had to jump back in and start working with what I had just written. Some people take a longer break. I think that there is another nationally sponsored revision month (maybe March) where you spend a certain number of hours in the month revising what you wrote in November. I can’t wait that long. It took me a full year to revise Cold Rock, which was last year’s Nano creation.

Q: What’s this final week going to look like for you?

A: It’s going to look a lot like the screen on my laptop. Virtually every possible minute will be spent on this draft to make sure I make the November 30 deadline. That means night time sleeps turn into short naps whenever absolutely necessary. It means lots and lots of coffee and very little sugar (causes too many quick crashes, which is devastating for any artist). It means I send my internal editor on a week-long trip to the Bahamas so that he doesn’t try and stop me from finishing.

In a nutshell, it means insanity.

And I love every minute of it.