Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #1 - Never Go Back

It's that time again!  NaNoWriMo starts today.  And yes, this year I am participating - look me up as besanderson.  So, in honor of all that, here we go again with my NaNoWriMo Pitfall posts.  (so sad I had to delete the pics off these - they were great - but I didn't own them, so they had to go)

Anyway, without further yammering...

NaNo Pitfall #1 - do not go back and read what you've already written. 

Okay, so I opened the file this morning to get some words written, and for grins I decided to read some of the beginning of this book.  I found a few typos, which I fixed.  Not a problem.  Then I found a bit of worldbuilding that I have since differed from.  Umm.  Crap.

Now my brain is so busy worrying about how I'm going to fix this that I can't think about where I was supposed to take the story next.  Seriously.  And what's worse is, I knew better.  I know if I start finding flaws in the story, I'm going to want to go back and fix them all before I continue.  It's a thing about me.  It's also why I've learned to write the way I do - straight through, no stopping and no going back.

Yes, at the beginning of the book Nigel (a minor character whose name is going to be changed) doesn't know what the hell is going on any more than Jo (the MC) does.  But in the later chapters, he's part of the group that's known all along and has been keeping it a secret.  Sooo, I either need to fix the beginning or I need to fix this middle part.


Deep breaths.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.

What I really need to do is forget I ever saw that flaw and forge ahead.  The story is going great so far, and whatever Nigel does ultimately doesn't matter to the crux of the plot.  (Unless I make this into a series, and then Nigel's crucial to the plot that would carry over several books.)  Regardless, I need to tuck this flaw into its proper place and fix it later.

Remember folks, you can always go back and fix afterwards, but you can't fix what isn't written.  So just write.  Damn it.  (That last part was for me, btw.)

And thus ends our brief neurotic break.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled psychoses. ;o)

(Go here for the original post so you can see the comments people made there.)
(And Stop by HERE for last year's follow-up post and see those comments.)

PS.  Nigel became Basil and I did fix the flaw.


  1. Always good to see this again (and again, and again, and again). Only 150 or so words in and I was re-reading...and fixing...urgh! Must just keep on going - start to finish, don't look back, don't worry, don't panic (that was for me, about to panic because, again, I realized I've started this without giving it much thought). Did I say 'urgh' already?

    Good luck, B.E. :)

    Hmmm, wonder if I commented last year...

    1. I'm glad it's still helpful, Janet. Now tell the evil editor to shut up and go away. And no panicking allowed until 11/30. Thanks for the luck. Good luck to you, too. =o)

  2. I'll be doing a series of "inspirational pictures" for NaNo and posting them around the web. If you don't mind, I'll snag a few of your tips along the way and use them. Then you'll have pics to use. I have rights to any of the images I'll be using so we're good! :)

    1. Can't wait to see your inspirational pics, Silver. I'm honored that you would include my tips. =o)


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