NaNoWriMo: reflections and definitions at midway

“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.”~Andre Gide, French novelist

Interesting distinction between websites. While looking up who Andre Gide is–was, actually; he died in 1951–several sites list him as “author,” “essayist,” “writer,” “dramatist,” “memoirist,” and the one I used, “novelist.”

What makes a writer a “writer” and what makes one an “author?”

From Wikipedia, an author is broadly defined as “the person who originated or gave existence to anything” and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.


When in doubt, add a Ninja

Interesting NaNoWriMo perspectives this year from the internet, blogs, local write-ins and overall discussions with others. One person’s approach is to write a good first draft in November, whatever the word count, so that the editing process is not a complete rewrite, thus having wasted time. Another perspective: the first draft is written for you, the second draft is written for your audience and the third draft is rewritten from memory to discover what was important enough to make sure is in the story. Another person uses November to focus, writing until complete, be that 50K words or not; the story dictates its end.

My opinion is that your first draft is crap, but you do it just get the story out of your head; having something to edit is what is important.

In fact, that is how Wikipedia defines NaNoWriMo: : “National Novel Writing Month, shortened as NaNoWriMo (na-noh-RY-moh), is an annual internet-based creative writing project that…challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30…. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, no matter how bad the writing is…. The idea is that many people are scared to start writing because it won’t be any good, and if there’s a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if they wish.”

How is my novel going? As of this writing, I am 1/3 of the way to my word count: 15K words instead of proposed 25K. I did not start with an outline because this strange little part of me thinks that it is cheating to do any pre-writing. Maybe that is simply because I did not have a clear idea what I would be writing, the same as the previous two years. To me, the first draft is your outline.


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