Hey, it’s Flobo!
So this is what November 2012 feels like, huh? Hmm, I can get used to this, but for no more than thirty or so days. November is typically an important month for writers as it is the National Novel Writing Month a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.
Gist of it is this. You got thirty days to write a 50,000 word novel. Doesn’t matter how rough it is, just get it done. The premise sounds challenging enough, but it completely difficult when you actually decide to do it. I’ve done NaNoWriMo twice personally (2010, 2011). Since I completed the 50K word threshold both times, I’ve been deemed a “winner” of the event.
The exercise is fun, and like running a marathon, it really becomes a matter of will. Writing about two thousand words a day could be a lot (if not outright impossible) if you don’t write much consistently at all. In fact the first time I did NaNoWriMo, I kept my notebook on the floor of my bed. When I woke up I would roll onto the floor and write. At the end of the day after writing on the floor, I would climb into my bed. I was totally going bohemian. My first NaNo novel (after many drafts) became High Desert Run.
The second attempt ended with me having a full length version of my superhero story, entitled Silverstreek. I unfortunately was not happy with the direction I took it in that go around, and almost junked the property altogether. I then decided to streamline the novel into a short story (of about 7000 words) for my latest anthology: The Indelible Silverstreek
Two attempts yielded two very different results. You see, everybody knows about the art of writing. Us cynical types are also aware of the commercial side of writing. Events such as NaNoWriMo shine a light on a third element that gets overlooked: The sport of writing.
There should be a thrill of trying to stretch (or squeeze) a story into a certain page count because that’s what happens all the time in the real world. An episode of your favorite TV drama only has 44 mins at a time to tell a story, and there’s not a lot of room to deviate from a strict structure. Motivating yourself to actually turn on a switch and go into “writer’s mode” is something than can only benefit you in the long run. “Training drills” like NaNo strengthen your skills for your other projects. Everyone can throw a basketball into a net, but an NBA player has a certain skillset that most of us don’t have.
It reminds me of that filmmaker who has all the ideas for the next great movie “in his head”. Well, you know what they say. An idea in your head is as good as the paper it’s written on. I’ll take someone who has a proof of concept over someone with just an idea any day of the week. 🙂
It’s NaNoWriMo dudes. Rock On!