30 Oct

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.

62 Responses to “NaNoWriMo”

  1. neshaffer October 30, 2005 at 11:19 pm #

    I think I read that book, was it “Blood and Chocolate”?

    I often go to those baby-naming sites. Often they have names classified by nationality.

  2. cornerofmadness October 30, 2005 at 11:28 pm #

    i think that is the name of it yes.

    I love my irish n ame site. Frank McCourt reads the name and the history

  3. neshaffer October 31, 2005 at 12:10 am #

    And you *still* can’t find a name for your boy?

  4. cornerofmadness October 31, 2005 at 12:18 am #

    I’m looking for common but Connor Liam and Sean are too common.

    Trying to decide between Brendan, Killian and Ciaran

  5. neshaffer October 31, 2005 at 12:46 am #

    Usually, names that are too exotic are distracting if it’s a main character. It depends on how exotic the rest of the prose/story background is how much that stands out.

  6. ann1962 October 31, 2005 at 1:22 am #

    Sean is a very good name!

  7. neshaffer October 31, 2005 at 2:00 am #

    I worried a little, giving him that name, considering what happened to *my character* Sean.

  8. cornerofmadness October 31, 2005 at 2:14 am #

    true but in fantasy pieces it’s the other way around. Unusual names are expected. It’s mundane names that are not

  9. neshaffer October 31, 2005 at 2:23 am #

    That’s why I added that bit about “it depends on how exotic the rest of the prose…blah blah blah”.

  10. arethusa2 October 31, 2005 at 3:38 am #

    My very very Irish-American relations are named Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, Michael and Thomas. Just about any of the Holy Family and Apostles’ names are good.

  11. cornerofmadness October 31, 2005 at 5:39 am #

    yep, actually in this case, not that exotic.


  1. NaNoWriMo and me « Infinite Doorways - May 14, 2012

    […] prior to all that, the coming of NaNo only inspired me to shrug and then grumble about how “the rules of NaNo themselves just seem a bit ridiculous to me!” Starting a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: