Saturday, 8 November 2014

Nah, No WriMo

Hello again, dear readers. It's been a little while, hasn't it?
After my Halloween Countdown, I found myself a bit worn out. I call it being 'word-weary'; and if you're not sure what I'm talking about, I wrote a post about it over a year ago. The point is that I was a bit tired, so I took a break from it all. But, I wasn't inactive. In fact, I was working harder than ever.
As you may recall in my Update Update, I started this course for Hospitality Cert' 3. Well, I started that over a month ago, and at the time I began writing the Halloween Countdown, I'd finished the classroom portion of the course and moved on to work experience. Then all during the Countdown I was going to work at a local restaurant. then coming home and writing when I came home from my shift.
Y'know, it's only now looking back on it that I realize how amazing that is. Of course, that's not the most impressive feat, but that's exactly what I want to do with my life (work, then come home and write in my free time [spending time with my girlfriend as well]); that was proof-of-concept that I really can do this whole writing/working thing.
Anyway, I did work experience for two and a half weeks, which oddly enough coincides with the two-week Halloween Countdown writing, then the one week of recuperation. Now, having returned, I've finished the work experience and I'm going to start looking for a job.

So, that's what I've done. Now, what am I doing? Well, going back to blogging as usual, I guess. I'll post when I can, I'll try to get some kind of schedule going and - yes - I'll be writing more Duke Forever.
But there's something I'm forgetting, what is it? Remember, remember . . .
Oh, right, it's November! and that means, once again, we find ourselves in NaNoWriMo. For those of you that don't know what that means, allow me to enlighten you. the Word of the Day is: 'NANOWRIMO'

NaNoWriMo /nanōree'mō/ abbrev. National Novel Writing Month. A yearly event taking place in November, to encourage aspiring novelists to finish a rough draft, the word derives from the initials "National Novel Writing Month".

NaNoWriMo is the month when budding writers are invited to stop procrastinating and instead to buck down and write a 50,000-word rough draft in the 30 days of November. It's throughout the month because if you were to write between 1,000 and 2,000 words a day, you'd have 30,000 to 60,000 words written by the end of the month, it makes it easier, since people would be taking it one step at a time.
I really like this for a few reasons. I like that people are getting together in a communal effort towards writing, which is useful as it's good to have people to bounce ideas off of. I like that this is an informal thing, so that even if you're not a writer, you can jump right in; and since it's unofficial, if you don't want to make a big deal of it, you can work on your own. And I really like that this brings awareness to the young, amateur novelists and gives people the opportunity to get creative together. It's a cool idea.

But . . . I'm not really a fan. It's an interesting idea and I certainly think people that like it can have fun with it. However, I think that for most writers I know, it does seem to have a bit too much pressure. See, you can't force fiction; forced writing is stilted writing, and every time I've forced myself to write, I've looked at that work later and had to throw all of it out - it's worthless and stale. So, the idea of this deadline, November 30, is a bit too daunting. And there are some that will attempt and fail, because they're not ready. Sure, they've gotten a head start, but I don't think it's worth the anxiety and stress of missing a deadline.
Also, it's not like December is "National Novel Reading Month". What is the point of all this writing if nobody reads it? It's not like every person on nanowrimo.org gets published, so some of the effort is wasted.
Of course, getting any kind of writing done is good for practice, but I'm just talking about the possible stress this could create - and also, admittedly, I wish that this was more like a book club, where we write work and shared it with the group, but most of this work is just rough drafts that we'll never see.
Hell, even if they were all published online to read, surely Sturgeon's Revelation is in effect here. I'm sure that nine-tenths of the novels written during November aren't worth reading. Don't get me wrong! I appreciate that younger writers get the chance to practice and some people probably will get something really good written, but those are too few and far between, and this is asking young writers to spend 30 days writing which they could have better spent reading, advancing their vocabulary and doing smaller kinds of writing practice, playing with scenes and characters.
Granted, these supposed "young writers" I speak of which would be overwhelmed by A Novel-Writing Month are probably the extreme minority; perhaps they're self-aware enough to do what's "write" for their literary development without me having to worry about them. But the point is, NaNoWriMo is definitely not for everyone.

Now, I'm not here poo-pooing the whole idea. I'm not a fan, but as I said, it's interesting and if people like it they can have fun with it. I'm just saying that there are pros and cons. For me, the major con is that November comes after my Halloween Countdown, so I use the first week to rest, which means I'm not writing then. And also, I would never write one of my planned novels - like Dead Graham or Thaumaturgus - during November. That would be too much stress and strain and it would cheapen the effort I've put into carefully constructing it.
But, it's not like I'll never do NaNoWriMo, in fact, I wouldn't mind doing that one of these years, writing a novel then publishing it on the blog. In fact, I think that would be a lot of fun. I'd write the Halloween Countdown in advance, maybe get some suggestions from readers and use them to write a novel specifically for the blog, while keeping you updated along the way.
Depending on the story, maybe I'd write it all, letting people know how it's going along the way; then post in bulk on November 30th. Or maybe I'd write a story with 30 chapters and post them daily. Or maybe I'd just post the story every seven days, so that you'd get one quarter of the story weekly, with updates.
I dunno, there are a lot of options. The point is, it would be a fun event, and lots of free fiction for everyone involved, and it's something I will do one day.

For now, though? Nah . . . no Writing Month for me.

Not after a fortnight of writing and certainly not without an idea worth turning into a novel. If you're interested in this idea, let me know, maybe leave some concepts in the comment section, and if there's a good one we can start brain storming for NaNoWriMo 2015. It's an exciting prospect, so I'd love to work on it with all of you. But for now, I'm just settling back into the writer's seat and into the flow of posting regularly. And you know what? It's a comfy fit.

I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and best of luck to the aspiring novelists that are currently writing their stories; just keep calm and carry on writing. Until next time, I'm going to write some of my own stories, because even if it wasn't November, I'd be writing anyway.

4 comments:

  1. You know what would be really crazy? to start a novel on your blog and co-write it with your readers...like 100 words each :)) just for the fun of it ;-)

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    1. That sounds like a really cool idea. The only downside is that most people shy away from "audience participation", and I don't have a large enough audience for that niche to shine through.
      But it would be really crazy, and fun, if I could ever pull something like that off. But I might have to shelve that unless and until I have access to a more active community.

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  2. For Nanowrimo 2015, how about that dark Narnia homage that we brainstormed once? That way we both take on the 50,000 burden and don't have to be sweating as deadlines approach.

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    1. Oh yeah . . . that was a fun story. If you think it would be better to collaborate on that and share our work for free rather than work on it for a publisher, that would be a great idea. We'll have to discuss more of the details, though, since we still had some kinks to iron out. But if we can be ready by next November, then we can definitely give that a go.

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Feel free to make suggestions, ask questions & comment . . .
I would love to read your words.