Monday, November 11, 2013

NaNoWriMo Pitfall #2 - OMG This Sucks

I have not reached this stage yet this time around, but I know some of you who have.  So here we go...

(And remember - these were originally written in 2009.  For 2013, my fingers are still fat sausages, though.)

NaNo Pitfall #2 or... OMG, this sucks!

So, other than the last couple days, I've been writing my little fingers into fat sausages.  I got past the first pitfall (or as someone else put it on another blog - the cardinal rule of NaNo) - don't go back and read what you've written - by slogging through.  The problem with slogging through is you may find yourself in the second NaNo pitfall...

OMG, this sucks!

As you write, you may find yourself thinking that the scenes you're slapping down are probably the worst pieces of dreck you've ever seen.  "It was a dark and stormy night..." looks like Pulitzer material by comparison.  And you know no one is ever going to want to read such crap.

Okay, here's the thing.  Most likely you're right.  It sucks, it's dreck, and no one is going to want to read it.

Now, before you get out the matches and bonfire your manuscript, I want you to understand something important.  What you're writing now is a FIRST DRAFT.  I'm willing to bet that most first drafts - even by the bestselling authors - are crap they wouldn't want anyone to read.  As awful as those first drafts might be, though, those authors kept writing them because they all knew another important fact:

You can't fix what isn't written.

So, no matter how horrible it may feel to you right now, you keep writing.  Hell, several chapters back, I wrote a scene I knew was awful.  Here's the thing about writing awful scenes, though: During editing, it'll either be cut or will end up as a completely different animal by the time I'm ready to query.  I needed the crap scene to get to the next scene, so I wrote it and I refuse to apologize for it. Even to myself. 

I wrote it.  I can fix it later. 

While you're writing, don't worry so much about how every word will sound.  Don't pick at yourself for writing crap.  Even if you're not doing NaNo, but you're having a tough time finishing a manuscript, just write and worry about fixing the problems later. 

Now it's your turn.  Ever hit this pitfall?  Did you get past it or trash your manuscript?  If you got past it, let us know how in the comments.

(Click on this linky-link to see the original post, with comments.) 
(And this one to see last year's repost.)


  1. Ha! I feel that way every time I send off a manuscript to my editor. LOL But it makes me work harder. And that's the point. What sucks today may be brilliant tomorrow--after a good night's sleep, a cup of coffee, and little editing. I'll add this one to my NaNoWinspirations. :)

    1. Aww, I feel bad that you feel this way every time you send off a manuscript, Silver. Your books are awesome. But, yeah, I guess it does make us work harder. =o)


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