NaNoWriMo is over, and I won

At around 10pm on November 29th, I finished my seventh NaNoWriMo novel (in nine tries). The story kind of sucks. Our fearless leader, Marcus, suggested I post my worst passage and celebrate how much it sucks.

But I can’t find a passage. It’s not that I think it’s all good, because it isn’t. It’s just all meh. It’s not offensively bad, but if I put it on Feedbooks with a tipjar, I’d make about forty-five cents, plus ten dollars from my mom.

Here’s an example. The Man in the Gray Suit is one of the main characters of the book. Think of him as an SVP in Hell, Inc.

The man in the gray suit didn’t sleep. It seemed like a big waste of time to him. It wasn’t like the life of a human wasn’t short enough already. He couldn’t understand their motivations. Less than a hundred years of consciousness, even if they were lucky and at well and didn’t run into anything unexpected. How could an intelligent being even begin to understand things in such a short time? He laughed, thinking about the stupid things he had done when he was a hundred years old, even two and three hundred. You had no perspective on things at such a young age. He hadn’t even begun to come into his own, he thought, until he had been around for a few thousand years. And these ridiculous humans.

The ones he’d been toying with, the ones who had been ruining his plans, weren’t even nearing a century. The girl wasn’t even a third of the way there. Thirty years. He’d spent that much time locked in total darkness, without any sort of outside stimulation whatsoever. It was part of the cleansing before he had been able to ascend to the position he now held. Two centuries of torture, and then he was allowed to take the test. He knew some who hadn’t passed, and had to repeat the torture three and four times. One he knew had been repeating the cycle for two thousand years. He wasn’t even scoring better on the test. It was as if he wanted to be repeating the torture, over and over, and had no desire to move forward.

The man in gray wanted to move forward. He had a lot of things he wanted to accomplish before his time was up, and there was no time to waste.

But he didn’t want to get his hands dirty. His favorite helper had been dispatched by these ridiculous humans, but there were many more where she came from. They were perhaps less subtle, but it seemed that now the time for subtlety had passed. Now was just the time to finish what he had started and move on. He couldn’t salvage much from this, except perhaps the determination to be better prepared next time. This would be a learning experience for him. Despite his advanced age, it was never too late to learn.

I mean, I’ve certainly read worse. But this novel is 50,097 words that are of no use to anyone. I may release them to the world with an anti-Creative-Commons license. That is, you are free to do whatever you want with this work as long as you never ever attribute it to me.

The book is a large collection of things that seem to be significant when they’re mentioned, because if they weren’t significant later, it would be silly to mention them. But then I never got around to writing in how they were significant. However, it’s okay. I’m taking leave of NaNoWriMo. I will not do it next year. The year after that, who knows? My writing goal for 2011 is to finish my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, and self publish it.

Nine years of NaNoWriMo have been a very positive force in my life, and inspired me in all sorts of ways. But this year wasn’t fun. It was a chore, and if I want chores, I can clean the bathroom.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do NaNoWriMo next year. You absolutely should. But it’s time for me to pursue other challenges, like actually recruiting an author for my self-publishing company.

3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo is over, and I won”

  1. Yes, the writing feels like it’s been driven by a hard taskmaster, but the idea has plenty of possibilities. How did you know about the $10? And that I just, somewhat late in life, discovered Isaac Asimov, who would also, no doubt, approve of your concept.

    1. I don’t think it has any possibilities. It wasn’t that much fun to write, and I don’t think it would be that much fun to read. I’m moving on. Or, back, I guess, to 2008.

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