We have a winner! And facts about high-speed novel writing are reaffirmed

We have a winner of the “No Plot? No Problem!” novel-writing kit: Scott Cowley

Scott says he is working on his first NaNoWriMo novel, and we can hope this kit will help him in his high-speed creation of novelistic wonder.

How is my own NaNo novel coming? Here’s what I’ve learned in the past week: The minute I announced that I would be posting my novel to the web in draft form on the day I wrote it, in that minute I damned myself to being unable to write a single word.

The knowledge that my craptastic, awful, reaching, super-drafty first draft sentences would be exposed to the glaring light of day — and to the eyeballs of readers — was enough to quash my writing completely. I’ve barely been able to write semi-factual blog posts all week, such was the reaction of my inner editors to my plan.

So this morning I decided I would do as I’ve always done and write my terrible first drafts for myself only. I started writing.

Sixteen minutes later, I had written 519 words and had at last truly begun my NaNoWriMo 2009 adventure.

Others can write their novels with people reading over the shoulder; I admire their confidence and wish them well. Myself, I’ll be writing my terrible prose more privately.

3 thoughts on “We have a winner! And facts about high-speed novel writing are reaffirmed”

  1. My main aversion to writing groups is the idea that someone will be reading the first drafts, and let’s just say OH GOD NO.

    Writing privately is still a grand and wonderful accomplishment. Good luck!

  2. Yeah, it’s one thing to be turned down or critiqued by an aloof publishing editor. You can always say they wouldn’t know a good novel if it bit them. It’s quite another thing to be dissected by the great Internetopia, with names like Uncle Scratchy from Oakmont, SteelerPete490, and the Carpetbagger. That’s gonna leave a mark.

    Nevertheless, write on.

    As Churchill said, “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

  3. Rachel: I like writing groups, but only depending on the group. I’ve had the good fortune to be part of a few excellent groups — and enough not-excellent groups to know there’s a difference.

    Carpetbagger: I’m not afraid of random Web denizens criticizing me. I’m afraid of me criticizing me. I agree wholeheartedly with Churchill on that entire description.

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