Back in 2005, I heard about National Novel Writing Month. I hadn’t written much of anything in the few years prior, but I thought writing 50,000 words in a month sounded like a good way to unleash the creative author lurking in the dusty corridors of my abandoned ambitions. Thinking back on it now, I can’t even bring to mind what story idea I had. Less than 5,000 words in, I knew I’d never stretch it to novella size. And so my first attempt at novel-writing ended.
And yet, in the five following years, I succeeded in reaching 50,000 words all but one time. The writing, while not fabulous, has yielded a few workable ideas. Not only do I have a better handle on the strengths and weaknesses of my own writing, but I have a better understanding of what makes a good story. Even though I don’t edit during the month of November, the importance of the editing process is revealed in a way that can only be brought about by the use of insane plot stretching devices.