“He sang right up until / he caught sight of that open blue / and became a whipporwhill”

Woke up today to one of laurieopal‘s (lovely!) raven necklaces, a bday gift from lnhammer. Keep thinking this next year’s turn around the planet is my raven year, though I have no idea just yet what that means.

Better keep writing this raven book to find out.

Things researched today: Legal driving ages in New York and Arizona. How high ravens can count.

For now I am being a mean writer, and letting my NYC protag arrive in Arizona without a driver’s license, which he wouldn’t have. If he needs to drive, I’ll talk to his parents about why they need to move out to the suburbs. (NYC driving age is 18. Weirdly, you can get a permit at 16, but can only drive in the City on it until you get your license, at which point you can’t drive again, so they recommend just waiting on that road test.)

So I’m NaNoWriMoing after all. Signed up for an official account on the site and all. Figured out why I felt hesitant about saying so, though: because if one isn’t paying attention, it can look like NaNoWriMo is encouraging speed over all other things, when I actually believe it’s just fine, even important, for writers to give books the time they need. New writers especially get so caught up on speed, but so can writers who are struggling to figure out the whole business of how to make a living (which is most of us). The Internet is full of advice that boils down to “stop caring about language and write faster.”

I think that’s bad advice, personally, and advice that can stress writers out, when writers are stressed enough already.

Bad advice for a final book, anyway. But in getting to a final book, there can be parts of the process where some of the details aren’t a priority. Like the first draft–my first draft, at any rate. In my first drafts, I don’t care at all about language.

By my fifth draft I care about it deeply.

The reason NaNoWriMo is even something I can experiment with this year is because my very first draft is at its almost-start just as November is hitting, which makes it work–and even so, if I don’t get to 50K, I’m not going to stress it much. If someone isn’t just starting a book, or if someone is the sort of writer who needs to focus on polish in the early drafts, I’m still not sure it’s a good idea, though it could be a good way to find out what sort of writer one is–and for new writers especially, the built-in support group is amazing. So basically, if one can use NaNoWriMo to serve one’s purposes, it can be good.

But it should never, ever be taken as an argument that writers should or must be fast overall, or that fast is better. And like all other writing tools, if it doesn’t work, one should ditch it.

But one doesn’t know if a tool works until one tries it.

Mostly, I think it’ll be fun. 🙂

2300 / 50000 words. 5% done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *