Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009: No More Panic Time!

This is not about my NaNoWriMo novel. It's about NaNoWriMo itself. Specifically, what I usually do every year, and every WriMo too. That, of course, is procrastinate. That's going to change. This is not just a promise. I'm so impatient to win NaNo this year that I've already started writing. So far, even despite some nasty procrastination (I took time off writing to unfollow most of the news feeds I was following on Twitter and transfer them into a new "Newsfeeds" list, using Twitter's new lists feature), I managed to write 1,100 words from midnight to midnight on November 1! Since I'm not procrastinating this month, there will be no Panic Time.

First, I must explain Panic Time, Usually, I procrastinate so badly that by the last week or 10 days of any given WriMo, I find myself so far behind that I panic. Panic Time begins, and it puts me into Panic Mode, during which I write most of my words. Usually, I've written about 20,000 words by day 20, and I have to write the remaining 30,000 words in those final 10 days. The most extreme panic situation I got into was during last year's NaNo, when I wrote absolutely nothing until the final week; then I wrote over 54,000 words in that final week, including a 13,600+ word day on November 29. When I write over 6,000 words a day, I start to cramp. I certainly pay the price for Panic Time.

My usual pace is about 4,000 words a day. If I keep that pace, I can win NaNo '09 early, and then I can rest. But my goal is not just to win NaNo '09. I also intend to complete the first draft of Dirty Pop so I won't have to struggle with it for years like I'm still doing with the Dictel trilogy (Bad Company, Black Science, and the newly renamed New Flesh, formerly Points of Authority — my '07, '06, and '08 NaNo novels respectively). Since Dirty Pop will be shorter than those epic political thrillers, this should be relatively easy; it shouldn't be much more than 50,000 words anyway, since it's intended to be the "grownup" equivalent of a Japanese "light novel".

So, coming full circle back to Dirty Pop, I'm not just going to write the first 50,000 words of it this month, just enough to win NaNoWriMo. I'm going to finish the first draft this month. Then I might even do some editing on it, so I can dedicate NaNoEdMo to wrestling those difficult Dictel novels into publishable shape. Once I get Dirty Pop just right (or at least suitably coherent), I'll serialize it online. And when I do, I'll let you know.

Stay tuned...

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