National Novel Writing Month, redux

The art of crafting a good story and the goals of the National Novel Writing Month are completely at odds with each other.

What I discovered of my writing process was that I needed a significant amount of time to develop a character and create a name for that character, and more time to map out story arcs. The aims of the National Novel Writing Month are unabashedly write with reckless abandon: generate quantity over quality, and use rewrites after the 50,000 word month is over to polish up the novel. So for three weeks I wrote with reckless abandon, giving no heed to naming my characters, or spending too much time on assembling together the intricacies of interlocking story lines. Even with my stream of conciousness writing, I entered the last week of the National Novel Writing Month about 10,000 words behind schedule, and with the traveling I was about to do for Thanksgiving, I knew there was no conceivable way I could produce 20,000 words in the final week of November.

So, what I have now is a rather messy 30,000 word outline of what my book could be, stripped of all except the single main storyline. It’s been a good experience, and has allowed me to explore the story space of my yet to be written book. I’ll be using this outline as the basis for fleshing out a more complete outline of my book, and then using that re-outline, I will write.