NaNoWriMo: Day 3

Each NaNo I try something new. Sometimes a new genre, sometimes with a self-imposed rule like writing without using to-be, sometimes something I just don’t wanna write to see if I can make a go of it. This year, I wanted to try something that will benefit my writing all year long.
I thought long and hard about what I needed help with the most. Okay, I flailed, listing about 20,000 things and creating a giant shame spiral that made Dorothy’s tornado seem like a stuck drain. Luckily, I am ever-inventive in ways to call out my failings, and so most of those 20,000—or, at least the ones I could bear to face—were variations on two themes: I write amazingly slowly, and I struggle with wanting my stuff to be good.
Probably not terribly original fears or failings. I hope most writers struggle with wanting their stuff to be good. Though I’ve read enough 99-cent e-books to assume that some writers just want their stuff to be done or for sale. Both good goals, but I guess I’m extra about the whole thing in I want to write good books that get done and eventually end up in the marketplace.
Anyway. I decided that NaNo is no place to be working on making stuff good. Good, editing, logic, all of that is a December issue. But NaNo is made for speed. Meant for zooming past word count goals. Many wonderful things come from NaNo but gorgeous first drafts are not one of them.
So that left my pokey, disjointed writing style. And hey, NaNo is meant for speeding, zooming, and losing hope on gorgeous. Perfect. Pokey can be pressured, at least for 30 days. Especially 30 days that includes a month-end 4-weekend. No, Thanksgiving, thank YOU.
But! Hasn’t my every naming been about pressuring my pokey writing self into faster writing (and usually an 8k death march to the finish line on Nov 30), while I’ve learned tricks for winning NaNo, the rest of the year really provides 4-day weekends free from outside obligations and a fridge full of leftovers on which to sustain my family.
Please do not mention the above paragraph was Flail #20,001. I know it is. I’m facing it. I swear. I am also getting to my point, even if I’m taking the most self-involved route ever. I decided to plan some of this year’s NaNo in direct defiance of my usual PLAN NOTHING mode for NaNo. If I don’t plan anything, then I have no expectations, and then I don’t panic about the story not being “good”. It just is. No hopes can’t be dashed.
I didn’t outline or plot or make little index card storyboards. I made a list. I listed 30 scenes I thought my novel idea should have. Obviously scenes require more than 1667 words, usually. But whatever. That’s a December problem. So are transitions! So are decisions about whether or not that 1667 word flash back is too long.
I listed 30 scenes, without expectations for order or flow or chronology. It’s just 30 important scenes. I’ll have an inking for each day’s work, and freedom from a lot of things; logic, flow, timelines that slow down my usual writing process. If I follow this, by the end of NaNo, I’ll have a raggedy –ass story in needs of lots of seam work, but the major pieces will be shaped. It kinda feels like cheating. It kinda feels like the writing discovery I’ve been needing for my whole career.
I’ll update throughout the month to track the ups and downs, pros and cons of this plan. Very Eager to see how this works.

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