National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is almost here. [Sounds of gnashing teeth, scribbling pencils, fingernails on mouse pads and, most importantly, the repeated sharp “crack” as the slave driver limbers up his whip.]
Since 1999, this annual event has helped motivate authors, including lots of wannabes like myself, complete book-length 50,000 word pieces in the month of November. With a daily goal of 1,500 words and a website for participants to commit to and then track their daily progress, NaNoWriMo provides the daily carrot, or in my case what worked for me–the whip–to get it done.
Informally, I did something similar in my first draft of Serpent’s Smile. I promised to post a chapter a week on my blog. Because I’d made a public commitment that promise successfully nagged me into getting it done.
I’m now ready to do a re-write. The characters have changed and are a lot more interesting. (That was perhaps the single biggest problem in the first draft.) Megyn will be named Ana and some of her childhood daemons are going to be driving her to desperate acts. Spencer Blake will be Blake Spencer. I know that seems like only a silly little change but “Blake” is a lot more testosterony and will better match his new, pro-active approach to unexpected developments. With these new individuals, much of the how and why will be dramatically (!) different. [Authors sometimes say their characters “take over” the story. That’s what I’m discovering about Ana and Blake. Holy Crap!]
November is going to be my re-write month. I’m signing up to apply the mental crack of the whip on my backside each morning.
If you’re a wannabe writer, give NaNoWriMo a look. It could be the stimulus, applied daily, that’ll help move you to the next level.