So, maybe I’m not cut out for this NaNoWriMo thing . . .

As many of you know, I decided to take the NaNoWriMo challenge and write 50000 words of my current story in a month. Well, as I stated in the title, I am starting to think that this simply isn’t compatible with my writing style.

Maybe it is the fact that I am writing the beginning of my book. Maybe I could do it if I were halfway in. However, the beginnings are my biggest challenge in writing. I feel like they have to be spot on, or the whole story will go awry. When I write, I almost always have a rough I idea of what is going to happen in the scene. However, very often–almost always, actually–as I write, new ideas pop into my head and the scene changes a bit. Sometimes these changes play a part in the rest of the story. So, in my mind, if I start off a story wrong, the rest of the book will be wrong too.

I guess I just can’t plow forward with a first draft, thinking I’ll change that the second go around. Now, I want to make clear that I am not saying that this is a bad way to write at all. On the contrary, I think everyone has a style that works for them. That said, I don’t think that my writing style is right for NaNo. Of course, maybe that is the point of NaNo, to work outside your comfort zone.



  1. Kiersten on November 8, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Do what works for you. Obviously it worked with Miss Midas!

  2. JaneyV on November 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    I can relate – I’m a totally organic writer – and even though I have a basic plot in mind I find the story still unfolds itself to me. The only reason I thought I could manage it was because I already had six months of thinking and re-thinking the darn thing. Even still I find it hard to just write without being gripped. I had hoped NaNo would teach me discipline. I think I have yet to figure out its lessons!

  3. Jessica on November 9, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Thanks for checking out my blog 🙂

    Yeah, I can’t do a Nano either. I might be chicken too…

    But I hear you. I do plow through the beginning (unlike you) but then I’m always going back while I’m still writing the story because I have new plot ideas that spring up when I’m halfway through.
    I’m glad to see someone else is not doing nano. It seems I hear a ton about it. 🙂

  4. Renee Collins on November 9, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Kiersten-Yeah, Midas did kind of write its self. Still, I think it might have been an anomaly for me.

    Janeyv-It is funny how all of our planning doesn’t necessarily make writing the thing much easier. There are those days when I really really really want to be flying along, but I find myself dragging through every sentence.

    Jessica-You know I think NaNo has its benefits and all, but it seems like more of an exercise in releasing inhibitions than an effective way to write a book.

  5. Natalie on November 9, 2008 at 2:05 am

    There’s no reason to rush if you don’t want to. You are clearly a hard working writer. No need to push when you don’t have deadlines…yet. Enjoy your new story:)

    For me, the beginning always comes pretty easy, but it’s the middle where I have to sit and think sometimes. That’s when I reread the beginning and research. Usually helps me.

  6. Terri Tiffany on November 9, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    What works for one doesn’t work for someone else! You write the way you write and that’s what counts!

  7. Renee Collins on November 9, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    It’s true. NaNo just isn’t for everyone. Of course, I do think that a challenge is good for everyone. So, I’m going to keep trying to push myself.

  8. Angie Ledbetter on November 9, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Do you edit as you go? If so, to make that word count, you basically gotta gag your inner editor for the duration. 🙂 Might also help to do a rough basic outline and then just let yourself go wild.

  9. Renee Collins on November 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Yeah Angie, I am guilty on that one. I’ve gotten better at regining in that editor, but it is quite strong when I work on the beginning of a story.

    Maybe it’s because I usually start writing a story with a rough outline of the middle and an ending in mind. I may have an idea of an opening scene, but it’s those pesky second, third, and fourth chapters which get me.

  10. Kasie West on November 10, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I am a plower, but my best friend can’t move on to the next chapter until the one she is working on is nearly perfect. We all have our writing styles, like you said. But, if anything this can be a good exercise for you.

  11. Joanne on November 10, 2008 at 3:01 am

    With the move coming up that you mentioned, honestly I don’t know how you do it! I’d have to set it aside myself and try again next year. You are one determined writer!

  12. Renee Collins on November 10, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Hey, my word verification is “fries.” Mmmm . . . fries.

    Kasie-I can be a plower sometimes. Ah, I love it when I am a plower. It really helps me stay excited about my story. It’s very hard to keep up momentum when I am just are staring at the screen.

    Joanne-Determined . . . my husband would call it obsessed. 🙂 I think I can be both at different times. Oh, and I think I will probably take several days off during the move. Probably.