I’ve decided that in order to reach the 50,000 word goal I should make a schedule and strictly abide to it. Anyone who has tried NaNo before surely knows that in order to reach 50,000 you have to average 1666.66 words a day.
That kind of schedule is fine enough if you want to be the next poor starving slobbish author whose work will never see the light of day, but what if you want to write a brilliant literary classic that will make you rich and be read and adored for decades to come? What if you want to be next great author like James Joyce, Herman Melville, Kurt Vonnegut, F Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, or Vladimir Nabokov? That’s easy. What’s the one thing all these great authors had in common?…. They knew how to write a brilliant first and last sentence.
We all remember such legendary opening lines as:
- “Call me Ishmael” (Melville)
- “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins” (Nabokov)
- “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” (Joyce)
And of course equally as masterful closing lines:
- “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (Fitzgerald)
- “Poo tee weet?” (Vonnegut)
- “And so, as Tiny Tim observed, ‘God bless Us, Every One.'” (Dickens)
I think it’s obvious what my plan should be. Write a wicked first and last line and then fill the middle with about 49,980 words of inane, pointless babble. As long as the body of this novel is completely and utterly pointless and cryptic, people will assume (based on how amazing the first and last lines are) that it’s just too brilliant for their tiny boorish brains to comprehend.
Or better still people won’t even get to the crappy boring second sentence because they’re too consumed with the first one. I remember in first year philosophy my prof spent like three weeks analyzing the first sentence of Plato’s Republic. “I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston,” (See: it’s been six years and I STILL remember that line off the top of my head. Point proven.) Who even knows what else was in that book? I sure don’t! But we all know it was one of the most important, influential books ever written by anyone ever, and it’s the basis of our entire civilization, or something.. just like MINE is gonna be!
Anyways, here is my schedule:
- November 1-7: Write the most memorable, mind-blowing, spectacular first line the English speaking world has ever seen.
- November 8-14: Write the most devastatingly, awe-inspiring, fantastic last line since the invention of paper.
- November 15-28: Filler (approx. 49,980-ish words)
- November 29-30: Spellcheck
Editor’s Note: in accordance with Ian’s self-imposed challenge, this post was written and submitted on his iPhone.