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National Novel Writing Month October 26, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Books, Other, writing.
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I joined up with the folks at NaNoWriMo, registering on the site and the whole business. 

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I have committed to writing a (shortish) novel (of 50,000 words or more) in November.  I don’t yet have a plot or title or anything else for it, but I am up to the challenge, I think.  I was inspired by H. P. Lovecraft (and how often do you hear that phrase?  I just searched for it in Google and the answer, before I publish this, is zero.  There will be at least one in a couple of minutes.  Perfect candidate for that googleslap game or whatever it is called.)

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So, that’s about five pages per day.  And about one in six people who entered the contest last year completed their 50,000-word requirement (which meant nearly 10,000 new novels in November of last year.  Next year I might get more involved in this, but I see that there are no official events in Lowell (this despite the fact that much of the money raised goes to build libraries in Cambodia, where many of our residents came from).  Wish me luck.

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1. Nannette in Fantasticland - October 28, 2006

You should let someone in your town know about this. Maybe they could get some people there to participate if they knew about the Cambodia connection. What a cool idea.

I wonder how much of success for writers is based merely on showing up and doing the work. Charles Dickens wrote every day from 10 to 2. Every day. And he was always under deadline becasue he published his massive novels in short installments (great way to make more money!) Anyway, he was an incredibly talented writer, and he wrote consistently and without much opportunity for revision, usually about five pages a day (at least in the beginning when his handwriting was larger).

Good luck, caveblogem. Maybe you will be the next Dickens….

2. caveblogem - October 29, 2006

Thanks, Nanette. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if that was the case. I know that when I was writing my dissertation it surprised me how little imagination, insight, creativity, etc., was required. It was mainly a long, slow slog through the sources that took on emergent qualities as I worked. Sometimes I was able to recognize these, sometimes my readers saw them when I didn’t intentionally put them there.

3. Nannette in Fantasticland - October 30, 2006

I was just reading today that Dickens relied quite heavily on his audience’s responses, altering directions depending on sales for each installment and reviewers’ comments. He composed his novels, then, dropping in many alternative threads, some of which he wove directly into the main plot, and others of which he either snipped away during page proof stage or let hang loose, dangling from his narrative tapestry. The thing is, he rarely failed in these “digressions” or whatever you want to call them, to stick with his chosen themes. So some readers think Dickens is just a meandering windbag, but others recognize that almost everything in his loose, baggy novels is really related.

So, I was thinking, maybe you’d like to post your novel in installments, and maybe your readers could comment on these portions and you could see how that affects your outcome. Writing your novel could be almost collaborative.

Well, maybe not.

Happy writing!

4. caveblogem - October 30, 2006

So, Nannette, what sort of themes would you stick in this thing? I guess what I’m saying is I will use all of the help that I can get.


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