Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nano Whato?

Mr. White
Well November 1st is fast approaching and once again aspiring writers everywhere will band together to do the unthinkable. Write a novel in only one month, yep that's 30 days.

National Novel Writing Month or Nanowrimo is the brainchild of Chris Baty who came up with the idea in 1999. The idea is simple, write a novel in thirty days to reach a word count of fifty thousand and without editing yourself.

Sounds ambitious right? Well I'm on week two of my own novel and I can tell you it's no IMFO post. Every night I reach my daily word count of 1,667 it's like a celebration and I can't believe another day is in the bag.

Now I know I shouldn't be writing yet but I've opted out of entering the contest. I decided I couldn't wait any longer and dove straight in. I can honestly say that for someone who has been talking about writing a novel for years now, this strict schedule has worked wonders for me.

It's hard to describe the emotions that go into this damn monster of a project. Some days I hate what I'm doing and others I love it. Some days I think "what the hell have I created"? and then others I say to myself "fuck it I don't care anymore". It's filled with the highs and lows of self defeat and momentary delusions of grandeur.

So far I have amassed a whopping 15,082 word count which is quite a feat for me. Will I hit the finish line with fifty thousand? I have no fucking clue. Will I come out of this a better writer? I hope so. But for now I'm hacking away every night in my bath robe...Oh yeah I forgot about that.

Chris Baty has also written a book to coincide with Nanowrimo called No plot? No problem. The book is basically an outline of all four weeks and what to expect each day. I'ts been very inspirational and full of great tips like coming up with a totem. Yeah, a totem. What you do is pick something like a hat or wig or anything you can wear to help you get in the mood. My totem is a grey bath robe or as Mr. Black likes to call it, my ghetto wizards robe. I gotta say it works and I wear it every night whether I'm hot or not.

And even our own resident Negative Nancy, Mr. Black is considering entering the contest November first. I hear he's thinking about doing an autobiography about his days as child sex slave in the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

So if you've always wanted to say you've written a novel the next time you find yourself at a drunken Christian 80s party, then head on over to Nanowrimo and sign up. I dare you.

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Mr. Black
Yes, I entered the contest. I have jammed yet another venture into my bursting at the seams busy schedule. But that's the point. I read the book of which Mr. White speaks (weird, that was kind of Yoda-speak) and Baty not only encourages you, but gives you the tools to actually fit such a seemingly impossible task in, no matter your schedule.

As Mr. White states, the yearly contest begins November 1st, so I suggest you read the book now if you're interested, you can find it here. Mr. White has been diligently writing his own novel, that of which I've been reading as he goes. Be forewarned, don't criticize anything or he may lock you out of his Google doc, because well, that's how Mr. White is. You don't like my story? HAH! You're locked out! Na-nah-nah-nah!

Yes this is what I deal with sometimes.

In any case I'm trying to plan as little as possible with my story so as to let it write itself so to speak. Mr. White and I have tackled a novel-like project before entitled The Sleeper in which one of use writes a chapter or so, then the other takes over for his chapter. Rinse and repeat. We only knew the basic concept of the story and the character, but nothing of the plot. The interesting thing that happened is we would riff off of each other (where is this lingo coming from?!) which would keep us going, and driving the plot. We reached about 25,000 words and surprise surprise, it's been left on Mr. White's turn. Yes Mr. Procrastination himself. So as of now it's in limbo. Hopefully we can apply the Nanowrimo rules to The Sleeper someday and get the damn thing finished.

But that is another tale.

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