A NaNo Lesson

I’m pretty sure y’all know I’m not a fan of NaNo. Not at all. I don’t see any positives from it. But I just read something that I wanted to share.

Last year a seventh grade girl wrote a first draft of her first book during NaNo. That’s cool, right? Plenty of people do the exact same thing and a short while later they put the book on Amazon or Smashwords thinking it’s ready to see the light of day. And mostly they’re wrong and it isn’t.

Now back to the seventh grade girl. She edited and rewrote for a year. Am I sitting here telling you that her book is a literary masterpiece or even decent? No. Cause I haven’t read it. But at least this young girl knew better than to just throw up some rough NaNo novel online for people to buy. Maybe other participants can learn a thing or two from this girl. What do you think?

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16 thoughts on “A NaNo Lesson

  1. I certainly hope people know better than to publish directly from their rough draft written during NaNoWriMo! Always, always , ALWAYS revise, edit and proofread!

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  2. I lost count of the number of times I re-read, self-edit and proof, and that’s BEFORE they go to an editor, let alone the agent. The book that just got me an agent was a NaNo, but it was 2013’s Nano only good enough for sharing in 2015.

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  3. There are plenty of non-NaNo novels on these platforms that also aren’t ready. Personally, I enjoy NaNo. It forces me to get out of the perpetual editing loop and get back to being creative. While I realize I can draft any time of year, it’s more fun with friends.

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    • Yes there are. Back in the days when I would a actually get some writing done I never needed or wanted to discuss it with Anyone. Cause no one is going to care about my writing as much as me.

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  4. In both traditional and indie publishing there is garbage and there is mediocrity and there is masterpieces. Shrug. I’m not sure Nano should shoulder the blame for people being too lazy to put in the 10, 000 hours to make it a worth while read.

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  5. Some people are just deluded, that’s the problem – they think whatever they produce has to be great because they spent a lot of time working on it. That little girl had a brilliant attitude and a great work ethic – she might make a writer yet

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  6. If you’re engaged with the NaNo community you’ll probably have a bunch of people to suggest developmental and copy editing.

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  7. I feel that NaNo is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gets to the heart of writing itself by forcing people to abandon their excuses, fears, etc. and, as Shia Lebouf said, “Just do it!” On the other hand, it can be used as an excuse in and of itself to circumvent the writing process–including editing, proofreading, idea growth, and the like.

    As of this moment, I have never “won” a single year while participating in NaNo. I only recently published a novella (first time ever self-publishing), the characters and plot of which have been gestating for about twelve years. It is not–and should not–be “that easy”. If it’s “that easy”, either something is wrong with it or the person writing is a prodigy of some sort.

    NaNo is nothing more than a magic feather to convince would-be writers that they can fly. That’s all it should be.

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  8. The book I’ve been revising for two years was my 2013 NaNo. In ANY writer community, you’re going to have some dingbats who think their first draft is perfect, who have never so much as opened a book or taken a class or done anything to improve their craft, etc. But I think most people just see it as a fun exercise or a start to a multi-year project.

    As for the 7th grader – good for her! I’m not sure I really *got* the whole rewriting/revising/editing for years thing when I was that age.

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