Tomorrow is April 1st and that means . . . the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo! My official plan is to write 25,000 words in 30 days. Maybe more.
My actual plan is to complete the messy first draft of of my current novel-in-progress.
I’m poised on the brink of the last act, the final descent into mayhem and madness. But there are so many balls in the air that I feel somewhat paralysed. I so desperately want to catch them all the first time round, although I know it doesn’t really matter if I drop one . . . I can always pick it up later.
It doesn’t feel a natural way for me to write, this acceptance of mess and holes and careless writing. But I do think it’s working. It’s forcing me to keep moving forward to find the story, to get it down on the page rather than agonising over every little thing including scenes that will ultimately be deleted or altered beyond recognition.
I’ve read a few posts recently about how important it is to block out that inner editor — to allow the subconscious mind to do its thing. And my subconscious mind has been coming to the party. I love the little gems that sometimes drop out spontaneously when I shut down my left brain. Although I allow my left brain to plan and scheme and roughly outline, I try to switch it off for the wordslinging so my right brain can run wild.
Sometimes (often) I doubt my ability to realise my vision of this novel. I have so many notes about things to work on in the revision that this messy first draft seems little more than a skeleton. Little more than a jumble of bones that I’m still digging out of the ground.
But I love the revision process — love layering up the story and characters and setting and dialogue like a papier mache model. That’s when the story starts to sing. So I’m excited by the thought of completing the first draft in April and moving on to that next phase.
I think 25K words should just about do it!
Fellow writers: How do you feel as you hurtle towards the end of a novel — fear, exhilaration, or a mixture of both? Do you look forward to revision as much as I do?