Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What writing goals provide

After joining ACFW's NovelTrack challenges in July and October, followed by National Novel Writing Month's 50,000 word challenge, I'm reflecting on what I've learned through these.

Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I've walked through the valley of the third week, where I was sure my novel was disgusting and why was I doing this anyway?

If not for NovelTrack, I probably would have.  Here are the stages I've seen so far in NaNo:

Week 1
Excited, sure this was my break-through novel.  I loved the genre, loved the characters, loved the setting.  I logged well over 1700 words a day and the time flew by.

Week 2
 Still excited at seeing the word count rise.  The plot was murky at times but I wrote.  Words on the page, right?  I could clean this thing up in the edit stage.

Week 3
  Why am I doing this again?  I am no writer.  This plot is transparent and disorganized.  Obviously, I shouldn't have chosen this genre.  Could I switch to re-writing the story I wrote last summer?

Week 4
 OK, the plot is smoothing out a bit.  I can see a theme developing and I'd sure hate to leave my characters hanging where I last left them.  I'd better keep writing.

I think these writing challenges teach me to spell better, as in "writing challenge" is spelled "persistent."  So many threads of fiction writing - character development, dialogue, plotting, description, theme - are starting to weave themselves together.  I am learning.

And keeping on writing.

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