Thinking About NaNoWriMo

Not doing NaNoWriMo this year has been an almost-certainty since I have too many projects underway already and don’t have even a hint of an idea for a new novel. I’ve been scratching away at several writing projects all year, more deeply than usual into my patchwork/jigsaw puzzle way of working. It would be crazy to add one more WIP to that mess, even if I did have a plot in mind.

The idea that just struck me, though, is that it might be a way of making better progress on A New Serfdom, which has mutated from the original idea, written during last year’s NaNo, into something barely recognizable and frustratingly disorganized. It would mean literally rewriting the entire novel, from scratch, and pretending that I hadn’t already done it once. I’d have to go through all the notes I originally wrote and those that I’ve written since, discard plot points that are no longer relevant, and reorganize what’s left. If I manage to pull it off, I’d probably incorporate some of the old material, once NaNo was over.

Rewriting an entire novel is a pretty scary idea, but it might be easier, in the long run, than trying to reshape the current draft, with all the deletions and major changes that would require. There are  questions I’ll have to answer before I can make a decision. Is this novel worth devoting a month to — again — when I have so many unfinished projects? Can I really go over the same ground again and not let the first version interfere with my ability to make it brand new? Will the new version be inspiring enough to keep me going through the drudgery that NaNo always turns into after the first two weeks?

If nothing else, doing it and getting at least 50,000 words written during NaNo would be a terrific exercise in self-discipline, and that’s something I could certainly use.



2 thoughts on “Thinking About NaNoWriMo

  1. I understand your hesitation at the thought of totally rewriting a novel from scratch, Catana. A couple of years ago, I rewrote my Brisbane novel of 108,000 words from 3rd to 1st person. That was bad enough. At the time, I toyed with the idea of going further back and woking off a very early draft, but in the end, I simply couldn’t face it. Just went on the most recent draft and tried to keep my mind open to the possibility of cantilevering off in any direction, should the mood take me. Going back to scratch really requires a great deal of courage. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck with it.

    1. 108,000 words — ouch! I can’t even imagine it. The current draft is still only a little over 50,000, so it isn’t quite as much to abandon. The most difficult part is restructuring it. It has two time-frames, and I was originally going to do memory flashbacks. The problem with that is finding logical points in the story for each flashback. It was getting so complicated that it was becoming hard to keep a grip on the story, so I need to find a better way. And there’s only a little over two months left to work it all out. It’s probably crazy to try it, but I’m beginning to think of it as a challenge.

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