It’s October, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Squiders, which means that writing communities everywhere have started to panic about the upcoming National Novel Writing Month.
In one of my writing communities, a friend is debating working on a second draft of a pre-existing novel or starting a new novel. She says she’s tried a rewrite for Nano before and hasn’t had it go well.
Whereas I did novel rewrites for Nanos 2009-2011 and they were my easiest years ever.
(For those of you who are new to the blog, I have been doing Nano since 2003.)
This friend is a pro-level writer, so where’s the disconnect?
I can’t really, say, of course, as everybody is different. But I did benefit from sitting down before attempting second and third drafts, going through and identifying plot issues and completely outlining the story before November.
If I am completely rewriting a novel for a second (or fifth) draft, then enough has changed that it’s enough of a new novel that it will work for the measured chaos that is Nano. But the outline keeps me on track and makes sure I’m putting out a usable product. So it’s win-win for me.
Rewriting is, of course, slightly different than Zokutou-ing, which is where you work on a book you’ve previous started. (If I do Nano this year–which would be Year 11–I will do this.) I can see how it might be difficult if you weren’t doing a full rewrite and were having to evaluate each scene to see if you were keeping all or part of it. That would suck to try and do during Nano itself. But a pure rewrite isn’t any different than a first draft, except hopefully you know where you’re going this time around.
Had success with a rewrite for Nano, Squiders? What was your procedure? What worked and what didn’t?
And should I do Nano this year myself?