NaNoWriMo is over. That's National Novel Writing Month during which aspiring authors get online and log their word count every day in the hopes of sprinting to 50,000 before December 1.
I tried and got to 15,000+. More importantly I sorted out the plot, which is a sequel to my first novel, In Our Midst. It involves an ensemble of characters and two parallel plot lines. Complicated.
What's it like to write so fast?
First, there is nothing like being tied to the computer. Even if the words I type don't make sense, the point is that I am sitting at the keyboard and should inspiration show up, I'm there. It doesn't help to have ideas in the shower because I can't hang on to all of them.
Second, it clears the brain. When I write fiction there are many plots paths, metaphors, scenes, bits of dialogue floating around in my head. Getting them out is huge. When I can get them written down, I can trust the ideas aren't lost. Then I am more likely to have some calm and open space in my mind for new and often better ideas to appear. It's like meditating -- writing fast releases the busy-ness of my thoughts.
Third, it teaches me to edit, cut, and whack. Writing for volume means I am doing just that and many of the words and sentences -- hell, whole pages -- are junk. I am prepared to prune almost as soon as I write and that's a very good thing. Good writing is all about good editing.
And more. But, I'm not volume writing this blog so I'll stop here at 290 words and encourage any aspiring author to give it a try next year.