Friday, November 25, 2005

NaNoSchlomo

I had a distant cousin Schlomo, long dead, who was such a bastard that all his kids left the farm and the religion. Seems he drove them a wee bit too hard. NaNoWriMo has become my Schlomo. Some thoughts: 1. Yes, I think I'm going to make it to 50,000. 7000 words in five days? Piece of cake. But that's not the point. The point is, 2. When you emphasize quantity over quality, you get trite material. My muse keeps falling back on stock images and characters. I've tried to compensate for this by setting my story in a make believe society that yearns to be like Earth, Hollywood-style, but the lack of originality is really starting to gall me. Muse, are you listening? Give me something really weird tomorrow, or . . . or . . . I'm airing all your dirty laundry on this blog. I mean it. And another thing, 3. Why must you make the plot ever more tortuous? How am I going to unknot this beast? I purposefully chose a single first person POV to keep your smorgasbord tendencies in check. And what do you do? You keep wrapping my protag in ever more layers of intrigue. This would be fine if the intrigue were truly intriguing, but see #2. Grrr. No, it's not crap, but I have serious doubts as to whether it will be publishable in any form. TBC, my numero uno NiP -- that's a keeper, provided I can find someone willing to do a Golden Age on it. (John C. Wright gave his publisher a whopping HUGE first novel. They chopped it into three separate books and marketed each one separately.) But, Get Well Soon? It'll be one of those novels that gets released when I'm as prolific and well sold as Stephen King, and my publisher says, "Oh, please oh please oh please, give us anything, even your funkiest piece of crap." So. NaNoScrewYou is a good thing why? D. Technorati tag:

4 Comments:

Blogger Pat said...

Mine's ticking along ok. I need 12,000 words in the next 5 days, though, so I can't stay long.

The major advantage, to my mind, is that you get to turn off the internal editor. For me, that's a good thing (a necessary thing, really, when you're shooting for 2,000+ a day). It doesn't work for everyone, though, I imagine.

A secondary advantage that I'm finding is that I'm coming up with some odd things on the fly. Things that wouldn't necessarily occur to me in an outlining phase. I'm glad I did this one a little fast and loose. Not so glad that I started 4 days late, and only did 300 words that first day, but you takes the bad with the good, I guess.

Still want to read it in December? It starts with an orgy...

11/25/2005 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Moi said...

I remember the Good Old Days of NaNo, when it wasn't this international phemonena, where it was just really intended to be a time when people who write without deadlines could practice, when people suffering from blocks could get them removed, when people who always said "I wanna write a novel" had the golden opportunity to do so. Back in the days before NaNo teams and t-shirts and the emphasis in November was more about the starting of the Xmas Shopping Rush and the consumption of too much food that cardiologists keep you away from the rest of the year.

Alas, those days are gone. I do miss them.

My first attempt at NaNo was back in '02, I think it was. My collab & I decided to do a NaNo push for our first writing effort together. I wrote the first draft while she rewrote it about 10 pages behind me. We both acheived our 50K, FWIW, finished the entire thing the middle of January, and came out with a first draft that needed some major character overhauling, but actually got requested in full by an editor and, while rejected, got a request for the next book. Not too bad.

However, when we did NaNo, it was more for the rigors of dedication to a single work, every day and establishing our collab writing process. We figured, rightly, that such a tight deadline wouldn't allow us to "committee" developing our process to death. For that, it worked. We went into NaNo with a purpose of our own. Getting the 50K done was just icing.

I guess what the point of NaNo is is whatever you wanted out of it. I know some people who have problems with speed and just want to see how fast they can really get things done. Some people just want to be able to say, "I wrote a book" even if they do nothing for it. Some people have an idea niggling at them and use this as an excuse to get it out of their head. Some people just truly want to write a book in a month (though we'll ignore the fact that a marketable is twice the size of the NaNo goal, won't we? ;)) Some people I know do it just so they can claim bragging rights among their pals that they're a NaNo winner. Some teams, if not the site itself, have little icons or certificates to strut with.

So what was it you really wanted out of this experience when you decided to do it?

11/26/2005 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Pat: yeah, I'm still up for a swap. I put some sex in mine, too. I don't think my internal editor ever shut up; when I reread bits of the manuscript (I scan back for names etc. to keep things internally consistent) I rarely find major problems.

Moi: I did it for two reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to see if I could stick to a daily schedule. I wrote 90% of my big (and completed) NiP on weekends. Second, I wanted to see if I could increase my productivity. I have to admit that I had a third reason -- I hoped foolishly that I would have something which could be shaped into a marketable item. That's the part that still bugs me.

11/26/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

I keep joining, but except the first year (2003), I don't take is serious and try to reach the 50K. Because I know I can't and if I did, it would be trash beyond rewriting and a waste of time. I'm in for the fun, the atmosphere, the boards, and the FM Nano chat. :-)

But don't tell Chris.

11/26/2005 09:49:00 AM  

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