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NaNoWriMo Rules November 15, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Books, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, writing.

I was just looking in my No Plot? No Problem novel writing kit (I haven’t had time, most days) and noticed that it contains a list of rules.  Rule number eight is “Sharing lengthy excerpts from your work in progress is forbidden until the month’s close.”  Chris Baty, the contest organizer, who wrote the book, says that this will usually result in dampened enthusiasm, as people will misunderstand what you have written, or their feedback won’t be as good as you had hoped. 

Well, he’s probably right about this, although I must say that committing to posting the whole thing here did motivate me in the beginning.  It is more difficult now than it was then. 

Anyway, I have surfing Technorati during lunch today, trying to find others who have made the mistake of flouting rule #8 and have found a couple that have and are doing nice work.  I left some encouraging notes around, just to the ones who didn’t look insane or so much younger than me that they might as well be from another planet.  Oh, and no offense, but the ones on Livejournal I avoided, too.  I find it really difficult to like these blogs.  There are so many advertisements and little animated pictures.  Very distracting. 



1. Nannette in Fantasticland - November 16, 2006

Hey, Caveblogem,

Rules are meant to be broken, eh? I for one would find it hard to post a work in progress, but I can see how for some it is a way to take up the challenge in a public way–and that can be a real motivator.

I teach and I always have my students share their works in progress with each other and with me. Writing becomes more collaborative that way, and though surely some students’ comments are not that helpful for their peers, in general workshopping seems to be encouraging for most students.

In your case, it seems like your choice to publish has been a good one. I think your novel is shaping up well. I am amazed that this is only a draft!

So … rules are meant to be broken. Good work!

2. caveblogem - November 16, 2006

Thanks, Nannette. Surely this group work is for the editing stage of things, though, isn’t it? I mean, I could imagine using it to brainstorm certain things and expand a work, maybe. It’s funny, a lot of the other people doing this contest seem to profit from going to “write-ins” where they sit around at a cafe and try to achieve some pre-determined word count by the end of the night. I wonder if they try to help each other come up with ideas as well.

3. Nannette in Fantasticland - November 17, 2006

I have students workshop at every stage, actually, depending on the assignment and the class. And I always have them turn in at least one draft which I expect them to revise substantially. It’s hard for them to do so after having written it down. They get very attached to their words.

Do you feel like now that you posted your words on your blog that they are more sacred and will be hard to revise? That is I assume you will revise and try to get this published. You SHOULD try to publish this cause it’s very funny and interesting! The revising part is up to you :-)

Keep on writing. You’re in the home stretch!

4. caveblogem - November 17, 2006

Thanks for the kind words, Nannette. I am comfortable with the idea of substantial and drastic revision. I don’t know if I’ll try to get this thing published. I think I’ll need a bit of distance to see it clearly, although chapter one is already looking mighty unfamiliar to me. And I keep forgetting the names of characters I have introduced, and what day it is and that sort of thing.

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