Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Suiyoubi Skies! (Nano Day 10)

For anyone who is confused about the Asian ring to the title, that is the Japanese word for Wednesday. I am putting Japanese words into my title because that is the only class I have today before I get to take off for the weekend! Cue celebratory trumpets, and scene finished.

That bit of good personal news aside, my Nanowrimo progress is 15,637 words (I can write that in Japanese too, but I'm not gonna because it's long as heck). I powered through the 5000 I needed to catch up on Monday night (or early Tuesday morning, take your pick) and got a little extra done yesterday. Now I just have to get through the daily word goal of 2000 today and I'm set. And better yet, I've only gotten blocked on the novel once so far.

Now, onto the writing portion of the post. Since my only post this month seems to be Nano themed, I've decided to make the entire month like that in this portion. Last week covered regular writing sessions, this week I'd like to talk about continuous writing within the session. If that is too vague, then I'll give the example of the marvelous program Write Or Die. For those of you who have used it, you know precisely what I'm talking about. If you have never used this program (please check it out), it works like this: you're given a blank screen where you do nothing but type. It can be an essay, a story, a novel, a blog rant, anything. As you type, if you find yourself getting tired or blocked and your fingers stop tapping at the keys. Your screen turns red, screeching violins (or crying babies, your pick) curdle your ears, and if this isn't enough to jar your fingers into action, the words on the page start to disappear one by one (not permanently, I assure you). The goal of this program? To keep your fingers clacking away, your word count going up, and your ideas free-flowing onto the page.

The idea is pretty clear in your heads now, so how about the process? It does have it's pros and cons, what doesn't? On the plus side: words come out, ideas come out, and it stirs the muse in some people because the muse isn't allowed to rest for two seconds. The minus side: the words aren't necessarily going to be good, neither are the ideas, and it can be rather stressing if someone prefers to process everything so they can get a better handle of what goes into their computers/notebook.

My thoughts are that the technique certainly isn't for everyone, but it's really helpful. For me, half the battle is getting words on the page to begin with, getting a workable base prepared for fierce cutting and revision later on. If I have something, anything to work with, I'm good. This system helps leave more time to conquer the hated editing stages, as well. However, one of my favorite authors is one of those who works gradually on her MS and stops to revise as she goes. The draft process takes longer, however the finished product is downright shiny and already nearly ready to send out.

So, now your turn to give your take on this, does the technique work for you? Are you a fan of the continuous stream of words or are you more the taking-your-time type? What works for you and what doesn't with this technique if you use it?

And on a little aside, thank you so much Summer Ross and Elliot Grace for your consistent comments, they mean a ton. Check out their blogs if you don't already, Summer's is both quirky and insightful while Elliot's is both eloquent and moving. (As for the infamous Aizen commenter, they already hear how awesome they are on a regular basis!)

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