Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #2

Back again for the second installment of my reprise of the 2009 NaNo Pitfall posts.  So, without further ado...

NaNo Pitfall #2 or... OMG, this sucks!

So, other than the last couple days, I've been writing my little fingers into fat sausages.  I got past the first pitfall (or as someone else put it on another blog - the cardinal rule of NaNo) - don't go back and read what you've written - by slogging through.  The problem with slogging through is you may find yourself in the second NaNo pitfall...

OMG, this sucks!

As you write, you may find yourself thinking that the scenes you're slapping down are probably the worst pieces of dreck you've ever seen.  "It was a dark and stormy night..." looks like Pulitzer material by comparison.  And you know no one is ever going to want to read such crap.

Okay, here's the thing.  Most likely you're right.  It sucks, it's dreck, and no one is going to want to read it.

Now, before you get out the matches and bonfire your manuscript, I want you to understand something important.  What you're writing now is a FIRST DRAFT.  I'm willing to bet that most first drafts - even by the bestselling authors - are crap they wouldn't want anyone to read.  As awful as those first drafts might be, though, those authors kept writing them because they all knew another important fact:

You can't fix what isn't written.

So, no matter how horrible it may feel to you right now, you keep writing.  Hell, several chapters back, I wrote a scene I knew was awful.  Here's the thing about writing awful scenes, though: During editing, it'll either be cut or will end up as a completely different animal by the time I'm ready to query.  I needed the crap scene to get to the next scene, so I wrote it and I refuse to apologize for it. Even to myself. 

I wrote it.  I can fix it later. 

While you're writing, don't worry so much about how every word will sound.  Don't pick at yourself for writing crap.  Even if you're not doing NaNo, but you're having a tough time finishing a manuscript, just write and worry about fixing the problems later. 

Now it's your turn.  Ever hit this pitfall?  Did you get past it or trash your manuscript?  If you got past it, let us know how in the comments.

(Click on this linky-link to see the original post, with comments.)


  1. Again, absolutely something I needed to see this morning as I was doing my bit of morning writing and wondered, "WTH"? There were thoughts of hitting the backspace key and taking it all out.

    No! No, I will keep it in and I will keep going. Thanks for the reminder - you can't fix a blank page!

  2. Janet, I'm going to pry the back space and delete key off your keyboard!

    B.E., you are a wise, WISE NaNo blogger. ;)

    Life intervened. I don't have my words done today. I'm a little ahead and with LG gone all day tomorrow, I can simply write from the time I get up until he gets home at dinner time. I'll catch back up. In the meantime, keep editing. I'm going to eek out a few hundred words now.

  3. Alright, the two of you, get off my case. No backspace or delete - I promise :)