NaNoWriMo/Camp NaNoWriMo has very few rules.
The goal is to write, write, write and get that book, blog project, or screenplay out of your head and on to paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect because the first draft never is.
That being said, NaNo’s most famous rule is no editing.
Editing takes time and patience. Time can be lost while a writer searches for the perfect phasing or a different way to describe bad breath.
The focus on the writing is gone. Frustration levels are high. Goals are not met.
That’s why NaNo encourages writers to turn off their inner editor. Bound and gag them and toss them in the proverbial closet. Send them on a virtual vacation…. whatever it takes to not edit during the writing challenge.
It’s difficult in the beginning. When writers see those read squiggly or double blue lines, our brain tells us to fix it. But the minute we get involved in editing, we’ve abandoned the writing.
Example: The word that is misspelled as thst. You go back to correct it but then get confused. Should it be that or which? Which is it? By the time you find the definitions you’re looking for in your jumbled writing notes, you’re tired and annoyed and walk away from your WIP.
Writing time gone.
By my second challenge, I’d gotten quite skilled at not editing during the month. I remember my April 2017 Camp Nano WIP was a hot mess as far as errors go. There were so many red squiggly and double blue lines on the white background, my smart-ass son would peer over my shoulder and salute it. (He’s no longer allowed to visit during writing challenges)
So as much as I believe in the no editing rule during Camp NaNo I am actually editing while writing this time.
I am adding to an existing WIP, right? Meaning I am cutting some scenes and extending others.
How could I not edit as I go?
Because another Nano rule-of-thumb I follow is to put the WIP away at the end of the challenge for at least a month. If I didn’t edit and make changes NOW once I go back to the WIP it would take me another year to figure out what the heck was going on.
And I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. I’m married and I have a dog. Isn’t that enough?
Day 9 word count – 17341
Want to see where this WIP came from?