Occurrence of the week
I was looking through job listings today and saw an advert for a telescopic forklift truck driver. Am still not certain whether they want someone who can drive a telescopic forklift truck, or a collapsible person who can operate warehouse machinery.
Time for a dust off?
It’s been over 16 weeks since November, and thus NaNoWriMo, finished. Whether or not you won, likelihood is you’ve got something solid out of it. If not, hopefully you’ve at least dragged yourself out of the basement and stopped weeping. A lot of people went straight back into editing and looking for proof readers (which I find kind of odd. What’s the point in getting something that will all be rewritten proof read? It’s like icing cake mix (frosting to you Americans)). Other people ploughed on to finish (or are still in the process of finishing) their novels.
A lot of people, me included, simply put it aside and forgot about it. It was only the other day, after reading A Game Of Thrones that I decided to dig mine out and have a read. George R. R. Martin’s prose flows like water, and I wanted to know how bad mine looked in comparison, so I found the file for Knife Amongst Treaties on my computer and read the first chapter.
You may be surprised
You know what? It isn’t half bad. True, if George R. R. Martin’s prose flows like a fine mist caressing the surface of a still lake, mine is like half a brick sinking in treacle. However, considering it was a first draft, written in haste to meet a deadline, it’s actually got a lot going for it.
And you might have the same reaction. It’s been just over four months now, and although you might still remember the plots, and the names of all the characters, no doubt you will have forgotten all the words you put on the page. You might go back and decide it’s awful, but that’s ok, because it was rushed, and it’s a first draft. That’s the great thing about NaNoWriMo – you’re allowed to produce something truly bad. If you’re Dan Brown, you send it straight off to get printed…
And you never know, you might find a piece of work that, despite all the obvious first-draft flaws, has some power to it, some intrigue, something that makes you, even though you were the one who wrote it, want to keep reading. You might put down the draft invigorated, realising you can write better than you thought, or full of fire to make the next draft much better.
What’s to lose?
It’s been sixteen weeks. How much longer does it need? 6 months? Half a year? Until all the planets align? So if you’re stuck for a writing project, have writer’s block, or are suffering a crisis of confidence, perhaps getting your NaNoWriMo piece out of that drawer (literal or metaphorical – delete where applicable) might give you the spark you need to carry on.
Let me know what you find.
How long do you usually give your writing projects before you go back to them?
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