How I Write (or a NaNoWriMo 2011 Summary)

Just realized that I never gave an final update my NaNoWriMo progress. Here it is:

For the second year I realized that the way I write isn't conducive to putting out as much words as possible in 30 days. When I write a novel, I usually do so with a pretty thorough outline. Even with that, however, I still find that characters and minor plot details evolve as I write. And as the change, I find myself going back to rewrite details earlier in the book so they match up with changes made halfway through.

For example, say I write 1,000 words a day for a week giving me a grand total of 7,000 words at the end of the week. But as I finished up Day 7 of writing, I realize that a character needs to evolve or change to make him or her more interesting or real. As a result, I may spend several days re-reading everything written to date and rewriting 1,000 words a day. So after nine days my "official" word count still remains in the neighborhood of 7,000 words even though I've probably written somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 words. So when trying to write as many words as possible in a certain amount of time, I find myself going back and rewriting stuff before I move forward and create new content.

Anyway, I finished NaNoWriMo with 20,135 "new" words though if you count all the rewriting I did during this time, the actual count is probably three times that number or enough to make me a NaNoWriMo winner--but not in any official sense. On the flip side, the 20,135 words I did write are pretty polished. Just another rewrite should get them up to publishable quality. Now I just have to work at writing the other 80,000 or so words of content. It's something I can do over the next several months--it's just going to take an awful lot of rewriting to get there. :-)