Friday, October 15, 2010

A Possibility of Something Wonderful

I have never seen the point of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I always figured that those who wanted to write wrote and those who didn’t write didn’t really want to. I used to be in the first category, and gradually slipped into the second. After the past couple of years of editing, promoting my books, and blogging, I lost the habit of novel writing. Apparently, I don’t really want to write the books I want to write, otherwise I would have been writing them.

Thinking that perhaps there is a book I want to write that I don’t know I want to write, I signed up for NaNo. The theory is that if you churn out the words without worrying about what you are writing, perhaps “you’ll start surprising yourself with a great bit of dialogue here and an ingenious plot twist there. Characters will start doing things you never expected, taking the story places you’d never imagined. There will be much execrable prose, yes. But amidst the crap, there will be beauty. A lot of it.” At least that’s what the NaNo people say.

I’ve always been a slow writer -- never been able to write 1,000 words in a day let alone the 1,670 words I’ll need to write to achieve my goal. The last time I tried writing for word count rather than content, I talked to my hero but didn’t add a single word to my poor work-in-pause. (see Pat Bertram Introduces Chip, the Hero of Her Work-in-Pause, a Whimsically Ironic Apocalyptic Novel (Part I) and Pat Bertram Introduces Chip, the Hero of her Work-in-Pause, a Whimsically Ironic Apocalyptic Novel (Part II))

I won’t be adding to an existing book this time. (The above mentioned WIP is still paused.) I’ll be trying to write from scratch, following any idea no matter how silly, since there won’t be time to think of alternatives. The way I figure, I haven’t a thing to lose since I haven’t been writing anyway. At the very least, by doing NaNo, I will get into the habit of writing again. I’ll probably have fodder for several blog posts. But possibly, just possibly, I’ll come up with something wonderful.


Jessica Subject said...

Best of luck with NaNo this year!

Marian Allen said...

Oh, Pat, I hope you come up with something wonderful! This will be my third year for NaNo. I don't know if what I came up with was wonderful, but it was immensely satisfying on many levels: I got 60,000 words each year, finishing with roughs of two books in a series; I relished the freedom of writing for fun and only editing enough to please myself; I gloried in being able to tell people, "I can't do that thing you want me to do because I have to get my words in." For some reason, people who don't understand the PROGRESS part of Work in Progress completely get behind a word goal. It's awesome! ;)

Good luck to both of us this year!

Marian Allen