Posted by: reneewildes1 | November 8, 2010

Teaching Old Writers New Tricks – NaNo Update Revelations

So I’m a week into this thingamajigie called NaNo. Fell behind during the week – hauled bootie this weekend. Now at 12,462. And it wasn’t as hard or as painful I thought. I have always been an edit-as-I-go writer. I thought I’d DIE, “just writing…whatever.” But here’s the thing. For the first time, I hear a snippet of conversation and just run with it. A bit of description and ge it down. Is it  show pony pretty? Nope. But it’s fresh and spontaneous and fun. It’s got that “new job” energy. And because there’s no criticism, I can just go wherever the story takes me.


You can reach a point when you let that internal editor just nit-pick the life right out of a story, like a leaky balloon that deflates until it doesn’t float anymore. Nothing sadder than a leaky balloon. And then you  let critique partners finish the job of shredding something into smithereens.

So here I am…just writing. It’s a sequel to Dust of Dreams that no one’s seen yet. And it’s just flowing. Thunderstorms and rainforests and parrots and fainting virgin sacrifices and heroes being mistaken for pagan fire gods.  Lots of drums and grass skirts and angry crocodiles and diving off waterfalls.  It’s colorful and messy and talkative and adverb-heavy. I even put in exclamation points. <gasp> I have no transitions. A scene ends, I do the *** and move on to another, figure I’ll jigsaw it together later.

It’s how I wrote Duality, and while it wasn’t my smoothest effort, it had a certain energy that grabbed many readers.

So am I a total pantser now? Hardly. But I think I can go with a basic outline, write the scenes that move me, and then piece it together without losing the life and the energy of the piece. I think you can edit a piece to death. The trick is to get it to live first. Just let it live, and then make something of it later.



  1. Oh boy! Another book. Can’t wait! I love hearing how writers write or get their ideas. Very interesting.

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