No More Jitters

Okay, so NaNoWriMo started yesterday. For anyone who doesn’t know, the goal of National Novel Writing Month is to bang out 50,000 words in 30 days. To accomplish that, a writer needs an output of roughly 1,667 words per day. Last year, I didn’t make that word count once. I hovered around four to five hundred words on average, topping out at about eight hundred on my best day. Yesterday, I put 1,805 words on the board. Needless to say, I am feeling pretty awesome about that.

My jitters have officially subsided. I know that was just day one, but I also know that if I can do it on one day then I can do it enough days to reach my goal. I am not writing a masterpiece and I’m okay with that. In fact, it is an extensive piece of fanfiction that will never see that light of day. Last year, Mercedes Lackey wrote one of the NaNo pep talks. In it, she talked about the benefits of writing fanfiction for the sake of developing your writing skills. It’s an idea that stuck with me obviously.

I hadn’t planned to do NaNo at all this year. My pride was still hurt from last year’s dismal showing. So, up until mid October I was still on the “No NaNo” train. Then I remembered what Mercedes wrote. My favorite show is currently on hiatus. So, instead of pining away for it or watching old episodes until it returns, I decided to do my own thing. I took my favorite character from the show and sent her off on an adventure that picks up where the show left off. Fun!

So, that’s where I am. NaNo is my only writing goal for this month. Right now things couldn’t be better. I’m off to get my words in for today. *waves goodbye*

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Posted on November 2, 2011, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I love the idea of writing fanfic to build your skills. I had completely forgotten about that pep talk. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Yay on the word count! (we’re buddies too double yay!) Your story sounds like it’d be a lot of fun!

  3. Fanfiction is such a great idea! One that I had never even considered until you mentioned it. I can see how it would ease my worries of having to create a world or a character from scratch. And once I got comfortable with that, I could introduce a character or send them off to a new place. Thanks for the idea! Good luck with NaNo!

  4. Yes, you are officially awesome. You will be tomorrow as well. I actually writing fanfic is a wonderful way to practice story flow. If it’s a show or book you really enjoy then the characters are so familiar that even their gestures and expressions are easy to write. Very cool. Good luck with the nano.
    ~Kate

    • Aww thanks Kate! I spent a lot of time studying structure and plotting over the last year. Having the characters and setting already figured out just frees me to focus on those things.

  5. Many writers dismiss fanfiction, but it’s a great way to learn the basics of writing. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not necessarily the “easy option” – yes, the characters and setting is already created, but that means that writers have to work within that universe. And readers of fanfiction are some of the toughest critics out there.

    Writing is writing. I started out with fanfiction and honestly don’t think I’d be published without that introduction. Sometimes getting words onto paper (or the computer screen) is more important than developing an original world and characters. All the best!

    • Wow Misa, thanks for your comment. I often read author bios or interviews where they talk about their first few novels being throwaways. I’m never at a loss for ideas, but I just don’t have the skills yet to develop them. So, I figure this is a good way to practice until I’ve built the skill set to give my own ideas a go. Your story is definitely inspiring!

  6. Way to get off to an awesome start! And the fanfiction thing is a great idea. Maybe that will give me something to do now that Buffy is on a never ending rerun mode. Keep going!

  7. That’s awesome. That’s about all my 12 year old son writes. So a big fan of fan fiction. Have fun. thumbs up!

  8. haha I wrote several stories in late high school/early high school that were essentially rip-offs of my favourite TV shows or book series. They’d be pretty laughable if I read them now (in fact I did read one the other day and it made me cringe), but the act of writing all those years ago helped me develop my skills, so that when I became more dedicated to writing my own ideas in mid high school, I had the writing ability (sort of) to do a half decent job, and the more I wrote, the better I became. I think anything that gets you to hone your craft can only be a good thing.

  9. Excellent progress so far. And I think the “opening gate” jitters are the worst and you’re well past that now. The goal of NaNo is to get writers writing. I’m not participating, but all the writer energy has helped me. ROW80 does that, too.

    Cheering for you!

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