NaNoWriMo 2015 Recap

Well, that was illuminating.

In the end –which is to say when NaNoWriMo ended on November 30th– I completed 50 script pages: half of the 100 I had set out to do.

Pros:

  • Having all the blog posts finished by October meant I could focus on the script writing.
  • I’m very happy with what I have written — and it’s work I’ll continue and should finish in the new year.

Cons:

  • Hey, I didn’t reach my goal. I didn’t set the goal to not reach it. Bother.
  • I’m not sure when I’ll be able to write as much as 50 pages per month in the near future, let alone 100. Also: bother.

Rather self-evident improvements for next time:

  • Carve out more time in my schedule ahead of time

I relied too much on finding “some time during the day.” This approach is fine to get my 20 minutes a day which has been my hallmark method of writing for about six years or so. I’ve used it because it gets results: maybe one or two pages a day adds up over the course of a year. But to get 100 pages in a month, I need more dedicated time.

  • Have detailed outlines of what I want to write during the month.

In fairness, I did have outlines for the stories, but they varied in their level of detail. And I wasn’t sure how fast I was going to go through the stories. When filmmaker and all-around nice guy Barry Gribble mentioned that he had finished his outlines in October in preparation to write two pilots in this November, I knew he was onto something. He had specific writing goals and had set himself up to best complete them. I do this sort of project management in other realms all the time. And although you want to keep storytelling ‘organic,’ this makes sense in order to move from ‘wanting to write’ to ‘having written.’ A lot of the ‘organic’ for me will come in the planning and outlining. At some point, I need to write that draft. Barry had set the stage so November was writing the dang drafts.

So, I’ll certainly compare notes with Barry and others, but it sounds like next September, I’ll be identifying the story or stories I want to tackle in November. Then, I need to make sure I have a detailed enough outline by the end of October: detailed enough to appropriately rock and roll on a draft in November (whether that draft is any good or not is, naturally, immaterial).

 

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