Miles From Fenway

National Novel Writing Month
October 11, 2005, 9:09 pm
Filed under: writing

This is an incredible idea. I can’t even do it justice. I doubt I would succeed, but I am seriously thinking of participating:

National Novel Writing Month

Here’s my favorite part of the FAQs page:

If I’m just writing 50,000 words of crap, why bother? Why not just write a real novel later, when I have more time?
There are three reasons.

1) If you don’t do it now, you probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a “one day” event. As in “One day, I’d like to write a novel.” Here’s the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It’s just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START. Once you have the first five chapters under your belt, the rest will come easily. Or painfully. But it will come. And you’ll have friends to help you see it through to 50k.

2) Aiming low is the best way to succeed. With entry-level novel writing, shooting for the moon is the surest way to get nowhere. With high expectations, everything you write will sound cheesy and awkward. Once you start evaluating your story in terms of word count, you take that pressure off yourself. And you’ll start surprising yourself with a great bit of dialogue here and a 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.

3) Art for art’s sake does wonderful things to you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to take naps and go places wearing funny pants. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and “must-dos” of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is both exhilarating and stupid, and we would all do well to invite a little more spontaneous stupidity into our lives.

To think about it practically, figure one single spaced typed page equals approximately 500 words. 50,000 words breaks down into about 1,600 words a day. So you’re only looking at three or four pages a day. Easily doable. Yeah, it will probably be crap and no, I probably will not end up finishing, but this is the kind of thing that might actually be able to snap me out of the fiction writing funk I’ve been in for, oh, I don’t know, the last couple years. Thanks to Dave Copeland for pointing this out!

4 Comments so far
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Maybe I’ll write a Mysteriomedy, about Red Sox Nation-NYC. Thanks, FiNY; You’ve given me an idea.

Comment by Michael Leggett

You should do it…I pretty much came up with the same rationalization as you did: 1,600 words a day isn’t THAT much. And it’s not like you have to show it to anyone…

Thanks for the plug, BTW.

– DC

Comment by Cope

Like I said before, you should totally do it. If my friend Danny could write a book, so can you!

Comment by Esther

That’s a great story. Waiting for more. » » »

Comment by Anonymous

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