Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo: It's Official

I haven't written any words on the novel since last Wednesday.

That said, on Sunday I validated my novel (so far) and lo and behold, look:

This means that I'm officially
a five-time winner of National
Novel Writing Month. 
I took Thursday (Thanksgiving) off and then I ended up taking Friday to look around the web for some tools that would help me learn how to not write so many damned passive-voiced sentences.  I started trying to revise last year's novel because I have a reason to. But I got frustrated and ended up playing Wii golf longer than I should have. Then I had a movie from Netflix I needed to watch and by the time I realized what time it was, I didn't have any interest in doing anything.

But then later Saturday something clicked and I was able to really dig in and get to editing. And let me tell you that it's not just identifying the passive voice, it's changing how you think about saying what you want to say. Several sentences came out completely except for perhaps a clause or a phrase that became conjoined with a sentence that ended up being better. Let me say that again: the sentence ended up being better.

Reading through a 6,000-word chapter and identifying no less than 40 instances of passive voice is discouraging. But it's satisfying beyond reason to read back through that chapter and see how improved it is. It's time-consuming, too.

So I got off-track and distracted from writing and ended up editing instead. How does this relate to NaNoWriMo?

If I learn to avoid writing the passive voice sentences now, when I'm ready to get back in and finish the book (while I'm waiting to hear back when the book goes out on submission again) I'll have less time editing later. AND a better chance for acceptance.

I'm glad I've kept my streak alive, I couldn't have done it without the support of my writer's group and most importantly the love and support of my wife who is getting used to being a NaNo widow and now maybe an editing widow. 

In the end it's about telling good stories and realizing what it takes to get there. I'm on the road and I can see the exit up ahead. Thank you all for sticking with me so far. I promise the ride gets better from here on out.

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