November 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm (Uncategorized)

So, it’s NaNoWriMo. For the uninformed, that’s National Novel Writing Month. The insane venture where novelists around the world (really, it should be International Novel Writing Month) attempt to write a 50,000 word novel between midnight on November 1, and 11:59pm November 30. Unless you’re my friend Travis, and encounter submission issues just before the deadline, and then have to change your time zone back once to hit the deadline.

It’s also pronounced ‘wry-mo’. Don’t listen to the Harry Potter fandom, who all seem to pronounce it ‘wreeeeeeeeeee-mo’. (I’m in the Harry Potter fandom, but Writing shortens to ‘wry’ not ‘wreeeeeeeee’.)

I attempted this last year and failed miserably about halfway through. I think it was a combination of starting at the end and working my way towards it (my main female, Marie, had committed suicide, and I started at the funeral, and the rest of the book alternated towards leading up to her suicide, and her friends dealing with the aftermath. Oddly enough, I hadn’t even read SPOLERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER ‘Looking for Alaska’, an excellent book by John Green, ENDSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER that sort of is the same idea, only his format makes more sense), and the fact that I was very unorganized and wound up stressing myself into being sick enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

This year, I know better. I’m spreading my workload out. I actually need to be working on my propaganda dossier right now, I just have no idea where to begin. I’ve ordered all the books I need for my 7-10 page research paper on the Nazi treatment of women between 1930-1945 (please, that’ll be nothing after this). I’m waiting on a movie to get here from Netflix so I can do my third of another research paper. I have YET ANOTHER film project, but that takes time. I think the only class I don’t have at least two projects to do by the end of the semester is my Japanese class. I think. Maybe?

Conferring with my roommate says that we only have a final paper, which is the exam.

So! With a steady slow working of my classwork, coupled with writing only one chapter a day, I shouldn’t get too stressed out.

Except the part where I don’t have a plot. But that’s actually working for me. The plot is emerging. Because life is a plot. Life has little plots that all accumulate into the finale. It’s less stressful that I’m working towards a fixed ending. I know where I want to stop writing. And I should have everything wrapped up by then. But if I don’t, if I make the 50,000 deadline I will be awesome.

Most of the other writers I’ve been talking to have little plot. It’s less stressful. So, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, don’t worry about your lack of plot. It leaves you more open to take on some of the more fun aspects of the project. I’ve taken on a few dares–dares are challenges other authors give to everyone to attempt to incorporate into your story. I’ve given dares. I’ve adopted a few discarded characters, I’ve stumbled on “WRITE 200 WORDS IN TEN MINUTES. YOU CAN’T NOT DO IT ONCE YOU READ THIS” topics and grudgingly written 200 words that attempt to further things along, but more often than not are just Bee having an inner monologue. I’ve stumbled on Random Number Generator topics, where you are suggested to click the link, and whatever number it gives you, you have to write that number of words.

It’s a lot more freeing to write like this, with suggestions from others on how to further your story, rather than sticking to your outlines and staying stiffly within your idea.

Include someone with a fear of ducks.
Bonus points if they had a duck attack them.
Double bonus points if their parents breed ducks.
Triple bonus points of their best friend is a duck.
Quadruple bonus points if friend is unaware that they are a duck.
Five times the bonus points if they recently became a duck and there is no magic in your world.

Have fun NaNoing!


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