A great experience from Annie Daylon
It’s November and, once again, information about NaNoWriMo is flooding social media. Many writers participate in this annual National Novel Writing Month. Maybe some sit by the wayside, wondering: Is it worth the effort?
I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice. In 2010, I wrote a complete first draft of my novel Castles in the Sand. In 2012, I wrote a complete first draft of my work-in-progress, Of Sea and Seed.
Some time elapsed between first draft and completion of Castles in the Sand. During that time, I took many courses on writing, including one on voice and viewpoint. The initial draft was written in third person and in chronological order. After completing the course, I switched to a first-person, flashback format. I also included a main character who was not present in the first draft. Castles in the Sand was a winner of the mainstream genre of the 2012 Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest and is a recent recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion.
My WIP, Of Sea and Seed, is historical fiction set in Newfoundland. My initial draft of this was intended as a one-off. I have since switched it to a trilogy. Again, I have added a main character. The first book is in its final editing stages. I have outlined Book II, and am working on getting the first draft on paper this month, during NaNoWriMo.
The best thing about NaNoWriMo is that it is liberating. It allows writers to ignore their inner critics and to think of nothing but getting the story onto the page. No editing involved. First, you build it. Editing (sigh) will come.
Back to my initial question: Is NaNoWriMo worth the effort? Yes. Highly recommend.