He gripped her hand in an even tighter grip. Whaaaaat?

If you are tempted to go back too soon and look at what you’ve written, you might end up telling your friends, “Don’t look at me. I’m hideous.”

That was the second line in my NaNoWriMo manuscript. I don’t remember using a form of “grip” twice in one sentence, but, hey, isn’t that what National Novel Writing Month is all about? Writing a story that humiliates you upon review? Writing prose that makes you dash to the bathroom and vomit in the toilet? Writing a manuscript that makes you want to run out to the highway and fling yourself in front of a Mack Truck?

Yes, “He gripped her hand in an even tighter grip,” is the kind of masterpiece I’m writing for NaNo. How about you? Besides writing style, grammar is also thrown out with the garbage. He’s another jewel from my first two days of NaNo:

You’re home is lovely.”

Oh, that’s nothing. Please observe this grammar disaster:

“He saw something in the way she body tensed up.”

I’ve been living in fear all morning that the pronoun police will knock down my door and drag me away to grammar jail. Of course, there are more riches of embarrassment, but you get the idea.

Okay, here’s the part where I give you all of my excuses for the above catastrophes:

  • Even though I’m a pretty fast typist, my mind is going a million miles an hour when I’m writing. Typos are bound to happen.
  • I wrote from one to three in the morning because I couldn’t sleep.
  • I’m making things up as I go along. Yes, I had the names of my main characters. Yes, I had a vague idea of the plot. But, really, I’m making up ninety percent of it as I go along.
At the end of the month, you’ll look at your 50,000 word manuscript–warts and all–and say to yourself, “Look what I done!”

But, hey, I’m okay with these faux pas because I’m having fun. I know it’s really hard for many people to not edit themselves as they write. I look over my previous days work as a way to get the engines going, but heavy editing will have to wait until after NaNoWriMo is over.

So my challenge to you is this: just get it down on paper. Just write, write, write until you reach 50,000. Don’t look back and risk being turned into a pillar of salt. There will always be time later to edit. There will always be time later to catch those pesky dangling modifiers. There will always be time later to throw yourself in front of a Mack Truck.

Just write!

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