#WeNeedDIverseBooks, Writing

NaNoWriMo Madness or The Only Way to Write A First Draft

Yes, I’m slogging through the madness of NaNoWriMo.

The video above is a good indication of how we NaNo-ites or NaNo-etta’s feel about now.

I could only take three minutes of the video. She’s a good singer–sorta.

I’ve been typing words upon words,

compiling hundreds, then thousands.

Fifty thousand words is the goal; 1,667 words per day.

And I have a head cold. Been in my house for the past three days.

My oldest son feeds me cough drops, meds, and ginger ale.

I’m forcing myself to write. It allows me to not think about the 21 people I’ll have to prepare Thanksgiving for in a couple of weeks.

I’m writing a novel with multi-cultural characters, three generations of women and men, the Mexican culture of curanderismo (that means healers), and a love potion that goes awry.

By this time, I should be at the second plot twist, according to Storyfix. (give or take five pages).

I double checked my pages and yes, I’m close to that point.

Here’s a screen shot of my NaNo page—I don’t know about that novel cover increasing my odds, but could be, it is part of visualization— And, lest I forget, I do have some empty badge area sections:

Writing partner and halo. If anyone wants to be a writing partner, hit me up. I really don’t know how to do this step but I’ll figure it out.

Mona AlvaradoFrazier-New Adult Novel NaNoWriMo 2014
Mona AlvaradoFrazier-New Adult Novel NaNoWriMo 2014

Participating in NaNoWriMo is a great way to a first draft. Far from perfect yes, but useful.

And don’t refer to it as a “shitty first draft,” because it’s not. It’s raw, you put in some effort, yeah, it’s imperfect, just like your first time at bat, or your golf swing, or the first time you made a casserole.

Remind yourself that you started with a goal. You accomplished it. You now have something to build on.

You have words, lots of them, to play with after the first draft is completed.

Well, you probably won’t play with them, you’ll do the edit, delete dance. Then you’ll pull your hair out a few times, and laugh your head off while doing said hair pulling, because you’ll remember—‘member this now—it’s your first draft.

It’s okay.

It will take time and hard work to shape it up, revise, plug plot holes, revise, and love it into being better.

Remember, first drafts can be powerful. Remind yourself that you carved out time for your writing, you set your creativity loose and you were courageous until the finish line (whatever that is to you: 50K or 25K words).

Only 24,610 more words to go.

Write On!

(Please excuses any left out comma’s or other grammatical errors. I’m partially delirious now). Thank you.

14 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Madness or The Only Way to Write A First Draft”

  1. oh, I had to laugh, I am so pulling my hair out…it feels sometimes too much to meet my goal for the day, so I have to decide whether to leave my hero behind and go forward knowing I need to go back and rescue her. The following day I think I have a plan, then it changes suddenly, like a storm blowing in, and I go in a totally different direction….the terror of not rescuing and allowing the villain to rise again….


    1. Ay, Suzi, I can see you know. I tried something yesterday while I was typing. I asked myself ‘what if so and so did this?” and then ran with that scenario. I typed another version too. The draft doesn’t have to be coherent right now and at least I have two ‘what if’s’ to pick from later.


  2. Totally in sync with you, Mona. This NaNo thing is only good if we consider it as a good way to get a first draft down. Like you I’m far from the ‘mandatory’ 50 000 words, but I like the premise of my new story. I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t well and that you have to prepare Thanksgiving. One of my college dauughters is inviting us over. Although I will cook and bake I’m excited to celebrate away from my kitchen. Wish you a prompt recovery and a good creative week.
    Also I love how you call us the NaNo-ites or NaNo-ettas.


  3. I have 4,700 words. Yes, you read that right. Wow do I need a push and inspiration. I know I can do it but I am beginning to have some doubts. Time for marathon sprints…. (by the way, I love sprints for some reason)


  4. I’m reminded of Yoda’s saying:“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” The Empire Strikes Back.
    That’s almost 5K words you got there. Type on with abandon, play with the story, ask the what if question and see where it takes you. See if you can hit a 25K goal by Nov. 30th. (You may have to give up blogging for a couple of weeks).


  5. Okay, so I’m up to 29900 words, and stopped counting for nano because the pressure was causing my characters to protest. My muse reared his beautiful head, and I embraced him whole-heartedly…I trust him, but maybe shouldn’t since abandoned my path to be with him…my people want to express themselves…so I am allowing them to flourish on the page, but not counting, just get up at 6am and write until after noon in my pajamas….I pause to get nourishment and whatever foolishness life demands, and go back to him in the afternoon…it is like having a lover at best, and at worst a good novel I can’t put down. Do you follow me? I AM writing!


    1. You’re so funny, Suzi. The most important thing of all is that you’re writing consistently. I’m at 31,000 and behind, but I really don’t care because I’m working through a head cold and I’m writing. That in itself is worth it. Write on!!


  6. Wow, I´ve seen the NaNoWriMo-Logo used as facebook-profile-pictures, but I did not know what this all was about. It´s great that you are taking the challenge. Good luck with the missing 24.000 words! 🙂


  7. Well, I did win! But 50k words, as I’ve mentioned is only about one third of a novel…I got so involved trying to reach the point of complete chaos in my story, that I have written 4 chapters since Dec 1st. I haven’t counted the words yet! It is all the details in the lives of the characters that takes the time, the setting up of the major premise…that is the fun and the drudgery of it. But I AM making progress. I have to stop to do research, and get tarot readings for my character…so there’s that. It is entirely possible that by spring I will actually finish it during the next nano session….

    Liked by 1 person

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