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10 Days to NaNo — Posting First Draft?

I’m thinking about posting each day’s production of The New Serfdom, warts and all. I’ve posted early drafts before, on Live Journal, but never a first draft. There are three reasons I might do it.

1. I’m having too many days when I’m considering not doing NaNo at all this year, when I don’t even care about getting the novel written. But I also know that’s part of a very mood-swingy period I’m going through right now. So posting implies an obligation to keep going, no matter what kind of mood I’m in. And that’s something I really need to do anyway. It’s just too easy to give in to the down periods and stew in my own juices.

2. It makes sense in the context of having written posts about the development of the novel. That should add up to something. Yes, I’m assuming that somebody might want to see the actual end result of all that work. But they might not be too crazy about having to wait until it’s published which could be months away, or even a year or more.

3. It might be interesting for someone who’s insanely into comparisons to be able to see the difference between a first draft and the edited and polished book.

I haven’t made a final decision yet, but if I do post it, it will be on a blog of its own. No point cluttering up this one.

 

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11 Comments

  1. I’m sitting out on NaNo this year. I know that with all my writing friends doing it, I’ll probably feel inclined to write more, but I’m just too busy right now to dedicated that amount of time.

    As for posting the draft…well, I’ve seen other people do it, but I’ve never read their drafts. So, I think, if you do it, it’ll be for you. Sort of a milestone. Plus, I’m sure folks will enjoy your first drafts!

    • I don’t read first drafts, either, because they’re usually first drafts of books that I wouldn’t read in a final draft. I don’t need any milestones, so that wouldn’t be one of my reasons for posting it. If I finish it, it will be my fourth NaNo win, so other than being motivation to keep plugging away when I’d rather just read or sleep, it’s really for anyone who’s been following the development posts and wants to see where they go. But I’m not sure anybody would care, so I’m still on the fence.

  2. I too go back and forth lately feeling like I’m NUTS for trying to attempt NaNo this year and then feeling excited. We’ll see how it goes come November…. good luck! If you think posting the output will keep you going, then I say do it. good luck!

    • I go back and forth about it every year, but the negative side is trying to grab a bigger share this year.

  3. That is a VERY brave consideration! My first drafts are gramatically awful…but then, as a learning project, that could actually be of some to people, I suppose. I’ll be interested to see if you go ahead. I definitely DO think it will help with motivation, though, because telling people you’ll be posting definitely urges the spirit to continue.

    • If you tell anybody about this, Geoff, I’ll have to kill you, but I edit as I go. Very lightly, and not while I’m actually writing. But very often, the last thing I do in the evening when I can’t make any more forward progress is go back over the day’s production. I not only clean it up a bit, I sometimes manage to add to the word count because the first draft is usually pretty lean.

      It’s hard to keep up the pace past the first half or so, when the stress and fatigue kick in, so some external motivation might be just what I need.

  4. Hats off to you, matey. I’m doing NaNo for the first time this year and I’m dreading it but also looking forward to the challenge.
    Good luck. 😊

    • The first time’s the hardest, but probably also the most fun. Glad you’re giving it a try. But beware. It can be like eating potato chips. You can’t stop at just one.

  5. Last year, I posted sentences from each day’s wordcount and a couple of excerpts. Having the first draft for comparison could be interesting and motivating!

    • I’m also thinking that if I decide to do it, I could pick out segments for comparison later on, to continue the series of posts. Maybe show what went wrong or went missing in the first draft, and what I did to make it better.

      And then there’s another thought, that all this is totally crazy and I ought to just drop the whole thing before I become or look like a nut case. :-)

  6. Everyone’s different, Catana, it’s a matter of figuring out whether it’s any use to you. For myself, I wouldn’t post any of my 1st drafts; it would feel too much like opening the oven door when the cake’s only been in for 5 minutes:) But that’s me, my 1st drafts are pretty crazy, and, to repeat myself, every writer’s different. If you’re feeling a bit tired, try working less hours per day. At my age, I have had to accept that I need to do this if I want to keep the work fresh.

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