My husband commented to me the other day that most people probably cheat on the NaNoWriMo challenge. He figures people pad their word count to make it seem like they have written more than they really have. It would be so easy to cut and paste pages from a document and call the words their own. He thinks the people want the win more than they are willing to do the work to get it.
I was sort of disturbed by his assumption and I told him so. We are not participating in NaNoWriMo to add it to our college application list of achievements. The competition is not really with the people we have as buddies. We are participating to challenge ourselves. Most of us want to prove to ourselves that we REALLY can write a novel. There would be no point in making up a word count. Somehow I can not get my husband to understand this.
The truth is, I have given up contractions for the month and I usually write out my character’s full names. This adds an extra word here and there where it would not usually be. Some would say this is a form of cheating. Padding, like my husband and other bloggers have said.
But I disagree. These manuevers are not going to get anyone across the finish line who is not really writing a story. You can not “I will” and “Do not” yourself to victory. By the time November 30th rolls around my story is going to be far longer than the 50,000 words it will take to be considered a winner. The anti-contractions and last names are not going to amount too much then.
These little tricks suggested in the NaNoWriMo forums are just for pulling us along. It gets people over the hump when they think they can not meet their daily quota. They are more of a means for us to keep going than getting us somewhere.
And do not forget, these are rough drafts we are writing here. They are not finished product. All of that rubbish will be removed before we let anyone see it (I hope). When revisions are done it will not matter that in my rough draft I called the girl Poppy Backwater more often than I called her Poppy.
We took on the NaNoWriMo challenge not for the glory or even bragging rights (but heck, I am sure going to brag…sorry, but it is true). There is no reason to lie about what we are doing. That would likely only disappoint us anyway. So, “let us” keep going on with our stories and “we will” ignore the nay sayers. I am going to be proud of you simply because you tried.
Total Word Count for Today: 46,245