A few of my writer friends are doing NaNoWriMo this year. Which I have to admit, I’ve never really been tempted by. Write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I know that if I decided to start a novel, that within one month, I might *reasonably* come up with a premise, and maybe even write 50,000 words. But those words would be be scattered scenes, most of them experimental in nature, and scattered, isolated lines (probably of dialogue), plus some background notes as I brainstorm on characters and plot ideas.

But a complete rough draft of a novel?

My initial writing of a story is always open-ended, and subject to later (possibly enormous) revision–what’s the use of keeping a little ticky-counter that rises as you approach 50,000 words if half of them end up in the round file later? Consigning words to the round file (or the back files of your hard drive–I never throw anything away) is part of the writing process. Success can’t be counted–for me, personally– by the number of words I have (unless I can’t get past one page, in which case, why would I attempt NaNo in the first place).

Anyone who can belt out 50,000 words of a rough draft in one month will probably spend the next year completely changing everything they wrote in that month. Which I suppose gives structure to the novel-writing task. But isn’t the same thing as actually “writing a novel” in a month. It’s the flower bud of a novel.

eta: above post edited to make clear my NaNo comments only apply to me, not anyone else, and certainly were not meant to belittle participants. Different things work for different people.


It’s that time again. That time when my latest ep of TD is gearing up, and I have something to complain about. This time, it’s blocking. You know, who stands where and what any character is doing at any given moment. AKA action. I’m having the worst time writing the action in TD 19, and I know why. It’s all talking heads. Everyone’s yapping at each other, imparting IMPORTANT INFORMATION, and mostly sitting around while they do it. On TV, you get a two-shot going, or maybe you switch off the over-the-shoulder shots of each speaker in turn, and the visuals become less important than what’s being said.

Which is fine, if it’s only one scene, but I have scene after scene of yammering.

So I try to break it up by having the characters DO something while they yammer, but there’s only so much coffee they can drink.

Oy, I’ve been here before, when the neat little tricks that spice up a scene just won’t come to my brain.