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. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo is over, and I won”
I had this idea when I started NaNoWriMo this year. I was going to kill a ton of characters. Each chapter would be about one person. At the end of the chapter, that person would die. The next chapter would be about the person who killed them. It was going to be lots of fun, murdering all these poor innocent characters. And every chapter would be a new person with a new life story to share, at length, if I got stuck for words.
It just didn’t work out that way. I started off with a squirrel, and he died like he was supposed to. A hungry cat got him. Then the cat got hit by a girl on a bike, as planned. But the girl decided she didn’t want to die. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo and uncooperative plot lines”
Yesterday was my second worst NaNoWriMo opening day EVER. 802 mostly uninteresting words. Not a good way to start off. Luckily, it’s a long month.
And today, I read my first “NaNoWriMo is bad” blog post of the season. This one wasn’t an unreasonable criticism, though I have to admit that I got bored and didn’t actually finish reading. If you click the link, I apologize for linking to Salon.com. Their advertising is generally on the high end of obnoxious.
The general criticism of NaNoWriMo is that it plays up the fun part of writing, and glosses over the fact that you need do a lot of editing to end up with something that people really want to read. The vast majority of Nanoers will agree with this—you don’t go from November 30th to publication without a lot of work in between.
I know the NaNoWriMo website doesn’t like to bring this up. Who would take part if they kept reminding you that, even in the best case scenario, you’re looking at six to 12 more months of hard work before you get something that anyone might want to publish? So, instead, they promote the fun parts. The camaraderie, the excitement at finishing, the feeling of holding the printed manuscript in your hands for the first time…
But is publication really what NaNo is about? I’d argue that it isn’t, and never has been, and it’s nevertheless very worthwhile. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo criticism misses the point”
It’s always an interesting decision—what do you say to introduce yourself? Not really knowing the audience makes it a lot harder.
I’m not sure I’d call myself an author. I have a published novel, but I published it with my own publishing company, so I’m not sure it really counts. Publishing my own novel was not the point of starting a publishing company, but we needed a starting place, and that seemed like a good choice. The book I published was my first NaNoWriMo novel, which I wrote back in 2002. This will be my ninth NaNo. I’ve won six times.
This year, I will be attempting to finish while also tending to a two year old and a five week old. I think it’s going to suck, but at least my wife is supportive. I’m going to write a story in which a person dies in each chapter. In the next chapter, the person who killed the person in the last chapter will die. I’m not sure where it’s going to end up, but it’s going to start with a squirrel.