Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"No NaNoWriMo" No Mo'

So, you know how this blog's update schedule has devolved from a steady stream of at least 5 posts a week to an uneven, erratic, who can guess when it'll be updated again mess? Well, prepare for it to get worse for a while.

"Worse?" you say? "How can it possibly get any worse? And, perhaps more importantly, why?" Well, the answer to the why can be summed up in one word: NaNoWriMo.*

Okay, so technically that's just an abbreviation for four words and not a real word itself, but my point stands: this year I'm planning on taking part in National Novel Writing Month, and there's a good chance that when the time comes for something to get thrown under the bus to make time for what is sure to be a major obsession for me, the blog posts will be one of the first things to go; I'm sure many long-term blog monkeys will have TOFKAP/In a Cabin flashbacks.

Now, some of you may remember that last year I listed my reasons for avoiding NaNoWriMo, and if so are probably asking "What's changed?"

Not much, to be honest. I still feel like the full-steam-ahead, no-editing-for-a-month approach may drive me crazy; I'm still not happy about the timing which will interfere with Sweeps and Thanksgiving; and I'm still leery about the deleterious effect taking part in the event will have on my mental health and social life -- although with PigPen and Cap'n Peanut down in Lewisville, Li'l Random traveling constantly for work, and Cap'n Shack-Fu being this close to heading off to Quantico that whole social life thing isn't as big of an issue as it was last year. Honestly, there's no way I could have pulled off NaNoWriMo when I was rooming with PigPen -- the distraction factor would have been way too high**. But I digress.

Honestly, the biggest factor in getting me to do this is that it hit me recently that it's been almost three full years since I wrote In a Cabin and, outside of my few meager contributions to the now defunct Write in the Thick of It challenge, my fiction writing output is pretty much zilch. Yeah, I sketched a few follow-up story ideas here and there, but in terms of a full-blown finished product, pretty much bupkis. And since it looks like the odds of me ever getting off my metaphorical butt and writing anything other than rambling blog posts and neurotic emails without some sort external motivating factor are slim to none, I decided that shackling myself to the NaNoWriMo paradigm and putting myself up for all other NaNoWriMo participants to encourage, pester, and mock as needs be would be just the kick in the pants I needed.

Now, at first the prospect of writing 50,000 words in 30 days sounds daunting, until you consider the fact that I finished the over-65,000 word In a Cabin in about the same amount of time -- an effort that included time for re-writes and editing and constructive criticism, not to mention the basic conceptualization. That last bit won't be quite as burdensome, as I already have an idea in mind:a semi-sequel to the two "Talent" stories from In a Cabin featuring Panic, a character from my story Deprecations on the Themed. The tentative titled is The Gateway Drug, but that's subject to change depending on if the initial story idea I have is meaty enough to sustain 50,000 words, or if I'll have to fill in some gaps between the In a Cabin stories and Panic's story via flashbacks.

Probably the biggest difference from In a Cabin is that the goal there was to make a finished, readable product within 30 days. With NaNoWriMo, the only requirement will be that I get the story told in any way possible, clunky writing and wild divergence in style and theme be damned; the clean-up and re-writing will take place in December, a.k.a. Massive Novel Revision Month, or MaNoReMo. Now, that's not part of the typical NaNoWriMo schema -- most folks finish their novel and never want to think about it again -- but you can bet that if I take the time to write a 50,000 word story in November, I will not be able to fully rest until it is suitable for public consumption.

Who knows; some folks might be getting a very bulky and wordy stocking stuff this year for Christmas . . .

*Or, as I'm going to start calling it, MaNoWriMo: Masochistic Novelists' Wretched Month
**Plus, y'know, hard to type with broken fingers . . .


Anonymous said...

Can I have a raise too?

Starrlett said...

yayyyy, good for you!

i keep telling myself, every year, that i'll do it the next year. and then i keep signing up for classes instead. :)

i know: excuses, excuses, eh?

Flunky lover said...

Great idea. This sounds like it will be good for you.