Thursday, October 30, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

Well, it's that time of year again: November, when I try to decide whether NaNoWriMo is really, actually, a good idea. Can anything good come out of a single month of pressured writing? If I was serious about writing something, why not a six- or even three-month deadline?

But I can't seem to resist this opportunity: an externally imposed deadline, without any worries that what I come up with will fail. Because of course it will fail! The project is absurd! Maybe I should look a little more closely at my attraction to doomed projects.

Anyway, last year I fizzled out after three days. I can't remember why. But this year an old friend is doing it, too, and I feel vaguely positive about the whole thing. I just can't come up with an idea. A good NaNoWriMo idea can't depend on research -- there just isn't enough time, unless you do it all ahead of time, which I didn't. The ideal NaNo novel has a gimmick, a kind of trick you can work out thirty different ways over the month, starting fresh each day. The first year I tried writing a traditionally plotted novel, but found it too difficult to pace everything right, and the plot kept running off the rails whenever I'd have a bad day.

Is anyone else doing it? My name over there is Triptraptrop. If you sign up, we can read each other's bad stuff!


Writer, Rejected said...

I think it's good when you are starting a new project. Seems like the exercise is good for getting a lot of pages down all at once. I did that recently when rewriting ye old novel entirely after page 99, but I had to remind myself that it all adds up to the equivalent of a lump of clay. Sometimes you can get the plot down in a lump of clay, which is great.

McQ said...

Just keep reminding yourself how much FUN it's going to be!

I still have 6.5 chapters of my current book revision left to finish, so I'm going to force myself to work on that every day before I'm allowed to do my NaNo 1,667. Or at least that's the plan as of right now...

Start warming up those fingers - less than 15 hours to go!

rmellis said...

WR: I like the lump of clay metaphor. That is probably the best way to look at it...

Mcq: Oh, it'll be fun all right! Congrats on almost finishing the current book!

Anonymous said...

I would like to interject here the thrilling fact that this is our 500th post on this blog.

Hugo Minor said...

I'm participating this year! I managed to get 204 words written yesterday, even though it was same day I got married. I hope to catch up beginning tomorrow.

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