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For all of you who've always wanted to write or attempted...

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Dave S.



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 480
Location: Philly burbs
For all of you who've always wanted to write or attempted...  Reply with quote  

...to write a novel but could never finish it...


November is National Novel Writing Month! http://www.nanowrimo.org/index.php?s=2

You have one month to churn out an unedited, crappy 50,000 word novel.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Thought you might like to know, if you don't already.
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Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:13 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hillary



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 1767
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I did this last year. I think I finished about 38 pages of stuff, maybe 33K.

It *did* get me in the habit of writing every day, but rereading it, I also put in a whole shitload of words that didn't have to be there just to make quota.

If you go into it with the intent to change your writing style, it's a great impetus to get in front of a keyboard/a notebook/whatever EVERY day no excuses. It helped me finish my book, actually (because that pattern carried over and still does).

Productivity (to me) isn't necessarily measured in word count, though. I would rather write 500 quality words than 2000 shit ones any day.

But that's just me.


Last edited by Hillary on Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 12:09 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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Hillary roped me into it last year, but I got off to a really slow start because:

a)Our sales conference was the first week of November, and
b)Dark Tower V came out 11/3 or 11/4.

So I was screwed from the start. I started writing, and liked my idea, but like Hill said, I was adding words to up the count, and knew it was time to say "not this year" when I began spinning a folk-tale backstory for pure word count. I will eventually go back to that story (minus the stupid fable I tried to stick in there), because I think it would make a cool book, but it wasn't meant to be last year.

I'll give it another shot this year, just to try it, but I have no illusions that it will be anything publishable at the end of the month. I'm with Hill on quality over quantity. But I can't deny that it was fun giving it a shot.

We're actually publishing a novel this fall that was a Nano book. Usually not my thing, sort of chick-lit, but I read it because I knew the author wrote it for Nano. I found myself catching every trick she used to up her word count - characters with two-word names instead of one, two dream sequences that don't need to be there, etc. All tips you can find on the Nano boards for upping your word count. I call them borderline cheating, but what can you do? Other than refuse to use them myself, that is.
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Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:05 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
mister



Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 301
Location: brooklyn
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Thanks for the link Dave! This is an odd idea, but it appeals to my fence-sitting sensibilities.

My biggest problem is that I just don't sit down to write. I always feel like I need to find some inspirado first, and that usually doesn't happen.

Objective: Shitty Novel. Nice.

Thanks again.
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Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:12 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
earthshoes



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 213
Location: SW Missouri
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I have friend from Canada who challenges a bunch of us to join him in this every November. I suspect it's his favorite time of year. The man also lives to compete in iron man decathalons (does well at it too). I admire the drive, but . . .

I've seen the results of a couple of these projects (and granted, I've only seen a couple) didn't excite me enough to join them. There were some very good stories, a moderate amount of good writing, but it's mixed in with all the . . . typing . . , This is hard enough without thinking, "Wow, I'm going to have to go back and edit all of that out later. Yuck."

On the other hand, if you can put aside all the controls and not worry about it, I suspect it can be great fun and probably educational.
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Post Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:29 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Unc



Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 300
Location: South of FRANCE
Re: For all of you who've always wanted to write or attempte  Reply with quote  

Dave S. wrote:
You have one month to churn out an unedited, crappy 50,000 word novel.


And historically, there is a precedent for it not only being a cool exercise in get-off-your-butt-ism, but something that can lead to much, much more.

Roger Zelazny, one of my fave scifi/fantasy writers, got stuck a few years back in a spate of writer's block. To get himself out of it, he set himself the goal of writing an entire novel in a month. It was supposed to be a throwaway, just something to get him back in the habit of writing every day and past the writer's block. The novel was "Nine Princes In Amber," and turned out to be the first of an eventual series of 10 novels set in the alternative universe(s) of Amber. It also became, I think, his biggest-selling set of books. One month. Just as an experiment. And look what happened. Go figure.

Post Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:41 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
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