Monday, October 17, 2011

Faux NaNo

Ah, fall. When the air turns crisp, the leaves turn into breathtaking reds, oranges, and golds, and writers' thoughts turn to drafting a novel in a month.

Yep, it's nearly November, which means most of my internet writing friends are agonizing over whether or not to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Over the years, I've come to realize that NaNo really isn't my thing. I'm a slower writer, and speeding up just means more plot holes and poorly drawn characters. Last year I participated in my own version of NaNo, October and November National Novel Writing Month with No Guilt (shorthand, OctAnNaNoWriMowithNoGuilt-o, of course). It's purpose was met, in that I started fervently drafting my novel Project Demo, and got some serious page accumulation (even if it wasn't quite the official NaNo goal of 50K).

Still, I love the determination and support that NaNo fosters, and I love to be a part of that, in however small a way. I laid Project Demo aside at the end of August, as we both needed a break from each other and something fresh. So I'm in a lucky spot where I can again use some of the NaNo spirit to push through my draft. This year I'm keeping things simple and calling it Faux NaNo.

The goal? Finish a rough draft of Project Fun by the end of November.

What? You haven't heard about Project Fun?

Well, that's probably because I haven't said much about it yet. As you may have gathered from the blog, life has been rather full-on lately. But I spent much of September using John Truby's 22-step method to plot out Project Fun. I started actually writing on October 4th (so really, I'm already two weeks into Faux NaNo!).

How's it going? Well... I'm a total pantser, so this a very new and strange way for me to write. But so far it seems to be going okay. Project Fun is still fun, which was about 80% of the point of writing it. But it's also very much early days. I'm pressing forward, aiming for a chapter a day, roughly 500-1500 words. And we'll see what it looks like when I come out the other end of November.

In the meantime, now that Project Demo isn't giving me nasty looks on a daily basis, and the Bath Kids Lit Fest is over, I should have a bit more time to blog, and share some updates on Project Fun throughout the remaining month and a half of my Faux NaNo.

Total as of yesterday: 11,600

What about you? Have your thoughts turned to NaNo? Anyone else doing a sort of Faux NaNo?


  1. I like it "Faux Nano." I had decided to do "Nanowrimo Light" - but your name is so much shorter and catchier :-).

    Not sure yet what my plans are - depends on how much energy I have but the spirit is willing.... I picked up my Truby book the other day and read a bit more but I have yet to be able to sit down as you did and develop my outline. Maybe soon....

    So glad you and Project Fun are having so much... fun ... together!

  2. I'm interested in a Faux Nano as well! I was thinking I would do a detailed outline for my next YA in November. I tend to do a lot of character and setting research for outlines and need at least a month, sometimes much longer.

    Will you be doing the faux nano on Twitter with a hashtag?

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. BTW: For anyone following along, #fauxnano is now a Twitter hastag. Join in and share your goals. Thanks for pushing me on this, Deanna!

    Deanna: That sounds like a great goal for a month, doable, but a lot of work, too. Good luck with it!

    Elisabeth: Well, it's all about the name, right?! ;) You're so welcome to join, whenever! Good luck with pressing forwards. With Truby, I worked through the Scene Weave, but couldn't go any further (outlining scenes, blech, I'd rather write).

  4. Hi Anne,
    I did a faux nano in January. I've never attempted the real thing. And since I'm diving into revisions this week, this year won't be the year I start. Your daily word count goals look much more my speed. I'm definitely a slower writer too.

  5. I've just been offered twice the number of teaching hours I already have, so my writing time has suddenly shrunk even further, meaning that I won't have time for either NaNo or the faux version this year. This makes me sad, but on the other hand, I've still got five years' worth of old NaNos to beat into shape. Somehow I'll have to make do with that.

    In my experience, slow writing is generally thoughtful writing, which translates into better writing. Sometimes you do need to develop blitzing skills, but what you produce from that blitzing almost always results in significantly more editing work somewhere down the line.

  6. Ruth: Ohhh, good to hear from a few other slow writers! Makes me feel a bit better about my complete lack of Nano abilities. ;)

    Mary: Oh no, that sounds like a lot of extra work! Good luck coping with all of that and fitting in everything else in your life.

    I'm a little embarrassed being anti-Nano, yet having never done it. But I've found, for me at least, you're absolutely right about slow writing being thoughtful writing. If I rush, I'll just end up rewriting. Thanks for the encouragement!


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