Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tip O'Day #246 - Don't You Love NaNo?

Guest blogger Eileen Hamer on that dreaded first draft.

Some writers sneer at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but for me it's a way to get that God-awful first draft done. Without the NaNo time constraints, I just piddle around writing when the inspiration strikes, which isn't often enough. I've written drafts of four novels in my Chicago Stories series as NaNo novels. They were all pretty awful, but serve as the framework for longer and I hope better novels. Of course, I'm one of those perverts who actually enjoy revising and editing.

My first novel, Chicago Stories: West of Western, will go up on Kindle soon (just waiting for the cover). Wounded Ex-Marine and Darkpool agent Seraphy Pelligrini has come home to Chicago to start a new life as an architect. When she finds an abandoned drapery workshop in a marginal neighborhood to rehab into a studio and loft, she doesn't know she's on the border between two street gangs. Her windows are broken, death threats painted on her garage, a dead body left on her doorstep and things only get worse.

I started West of Western as a NaNo novel, deciding the last day of October to try it. With so little time, I had to choose a location I knew well, so I wrote about the neighborhood I'd lived in for ten years. I sat down that first day and just started writing. I never knew what the next day would bring. When the month was over, I had the basis of a story I'd never have found otherwise. That was four years ago and the draft has been completely rewritten and revised since then, but nothing was as hard as getting out that first draft!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of NaNoWriMo. For me, there's something liberating about having no time to endlessly fine-tune - you have to keep going, move on, so you can hit your word count.

    And I love the sound of "West of Western". Looking forward to seeing it on Kindle.