On writing

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month

I want to do NaNoWriMo. I have wanted to do it for the last three years.

Last year, when I was I flat-out busy, I promised myself, “Next year.”

Hah. I haven’t even had time to blog for a month, let alone write much of my novel. (I’m snatching every minute I can to write in my notebook. I now have three full notebooks waiting to be transcribed to computer.)

As for NaNoWriMo, I’ve got Buckley’s*.

Until now everyone has been very supportive of NaNoWriMo. But this year I’m reading a lot more, “Arghh, no. Not again,” comments, and “Please don’t send out your NaNoWriMo novels.”

It’s almost a victim of its own success.

I’m a strong believer in NaNoWriMo. I think it is a fantastic way to force yourself to write. Look at me, in the last two months I’ve written hardly anything. If I did NaNoWriMo I would be 50,000 words better off at the end this month.

But because of the pace, what you write is also only a first draft. Most first drafts stink. You have to rewrite, refine and polish. So even though you’re overjoyed to be finished at the end of Novemeber, do yourself and NaNoWriMo a favour. Put the story away for a month or two (unless you want to start on draft 2 immediately), then take it out and re-read it before you send it anywhere. You will be glad you did.

Also, the place to say “I wrote this as part of NaNoWriMo” is not in your query letter, it’s in the introductory blurb at the start of the book after it’s published.

‘Buckley’s’ is an Australian slang meaning ‘no chance whatsoever’. I used to think it was named after an explorer who didn’t make it where he wanted to. Looking it up for this blog, Frederick Ludowyk says its origins are obscure. We also used to have a major department store named “Buckley and Nunn”, so it became a sort of an in joke. “What chance do we have?” “Buckley’s and none.”

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