Harder Than It Looks: NaNoWriMo, Week 1


C’mon, guys. It’ll be a piece of cake. ~Hannibal Smith, “The A-Team”

Cut the jibba-jabba and write, fool!

I have a few confessions to make here. I’m actually glad to be coming back to P&Q for a change. Whipping out 1K here is no problem at all, because the words just seem to flow, like a bottle of maple syrup over a stack of Eggos. Not just that, but I’m glad to be taking a break from the arduous task of writing a novel for NaNoWriMo.

The difference between the two, as I’ve discovered, is the difference between hiring a paddleboat at the local marina and, say, attempting to sail the Pacific solo in a sloop. The gulf is wider than I could have ever imagined. And just why is this?

A novel, at least for me, is purely terra incognita. I’ve written some novella-length fanfiction before, and I’ve been blogging for over a year now, but: novels are damn scary. I’m creating an entire corps of characters on the fly. I don’t know anything about them, or their wants and needs, or whether they like Seinfeld better than Friends. Because NaNo is more about quantity and less about quality, I’m treating the entire exercise as the opportunity to get a crappy first draft on paper.

And that’s the hardest part. Knowing that what I write is going to be pretty much pure crap. Trying to silence that little voice inside of me that says that it isn’t worthwhile, that nobody will ever want to read it, or that the ideas in it are hackneyed and have been done to death by the likes of Dostoyevsky, Fitzgerald, and Judy Blume. Plus, there’s those nasty little Whatifs. Whatif I had chosen the plot about the post-nuclear society? Whatif my story should be told in third person? Whatif I threw in a few dream sequences for padding?

I guess that’s how I should be looking at NaNo. It’s one big experiment to see whether I can stick with something for an entire month, and whether I can create a finished product (I consider myself like a dog who digs a lot of holes, then forgets where the bones are.) To see whether I can make myself be productive and push onward toward a deadline, ignoring the pitfalls of distractions and wasted time and another level of Angry Birds. NaNo is about creation. It really doesn’t matter if the end product is a steaming pile of horse manure or the next Newbery Award winner. It’s about getting shit done.

That being said, I’ve gotten about 5K words done already, but with an upcoming off weekend, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be at 15K or even 20K by week’s end. Writing a novel is a little like pushing a snowball downhill. The longer it goes, the more momentum it gains the the bigger it gets.

Just wish me luck. I’m going to need a lot of it to reach that finish line. Oh, and that means it’s time to crank out another K or two before bedtime. I’d better get back at it.

Another 45K to go? Oh, smeg!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to click “Like” and subscribe to P&Q to stay in touch with all things crazy pop culture! Email the author anytime at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on November 7, 2011.

One Response to “Harder Than It Looks: NaNoWriMo, Week 1”

  1. Whew, I’m getting tired too! Nanowrimo is always hard around this time, though, and we’re going into the second, and most difficult week. Keep it going, you got it! Good luck!

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