Monday, November 14, 2011

Quantity vs. Quality

I've been seeing a lot of blogs in the past two weeks that are geared towards the NaNoWriMo crowd. Why? Because there's a debate that goes on every November regarding quantity versus quality. I get both sides. The idea of NaNoWriMo isn't to have the best quality of work on the first go round, but rather have a good start to something great. There are two reasons this debate has taken form. Two separate

1 - Every Writer Writes Different: 
  • OCD Writers - You have the writers who are OCD, like my dear hubby, and have to have their writing perfect on the first go round. For this crowd writing so quickly and not editing at the same time NaNo is near impossible.
  • NaNoers - Then there are those who can write fast and get their work down in one month, or close to. (We will come back to this group, soon.) 
  • Nay Sayers - Of course there are the nay sayers who just plane don't like the idea all together. That's fine, it's their prerogative. 

2 - NaNoWriMO Participants (I told you we would come back to the second group) This is probably the biggest reason the Quantity versus Quality debate even exists. Why? Every December as NaNoWriMo participants reread their newly completed manuscripts different groups emerge.
  • True Editors - This group of NaNoers will edit the heck out of their manuscript. They will shelve it and come back to it numerous times. They will obsess over every detail they wrote during November. They will have their critique partners look it over, send it to Beta readers, and eventually (sometime after March) begin sending them off to agents. This is the group the agents love! 
  • Almost Editors - This group will edit their NaNo projects, but they will either not go far enough with the editing process and shelve their projects for later or they just don't know enough now about the writing process. Their work won't stink as badly, but it won't be as good as the True Editors and when they query it agents will not be as irritated as they are with the next group. 
  • Barely Editors - This group is the group most disliked in all of NaNo. I've heard a lot about this group lately. It seems every year there are those who finish their novel, give it a quick once over to fix spelling and little errors, and then they query agents. Apparently it s a pretty big group. Enough to annoy some agents into hating November. DON'T be in this group. You're WIP is NOT ready in December. I don't care how great you say you are as a writer, it's not ready. I've never read a blog by a traditionally published author where they've said they write, check for little errors, and it's perfect. No, No, NO! 
  • Shelvers - Then finally there are the ones who shelve their project and don't come back to it for a year or more. 

Me and NaNoWriMo: 
  • 2010 - Last year I fell in the Shelvers group. I still haven't pulled it off the shelf, but I have worked out a goals schedule for the first six months of 2012 and it's on there to pull it back off the shelve and start work on it. 
  • 2011 - This year my goal is to fall in that very first category of True Editors. I will not shelve this WIP and I will get it edited to the point it's ready for the query process. I will! 

Your Turn -> Did I miss a group? Where do you fall? Where would you like to fall this year?

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