This will never become a book.

2012 October 31 Wednesday

All Writers’ Eve

Filed under: writing — kdefg @ 09:02
NaNoWriMo 2012 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2012 Participant

This is it, boys and girls.  The scariest night of the year!  No, I don’t mean Halloween, I mean the eve of NaNoWriMo.  Starting at midnight, the pressure is on for me to begin writing another novel.

What could be so frightening about that, you might ask?  If you’ve never tried it, all I can say is that being creative is my own personal roadblock, at least being creative on demand is.  I’ve had bursts of inspiration in the past, out of the blue, but when called upon by outside forces to create something new, my brain freezes up.  Adding a deadline to that request simply guarantees that nothing good will come of it.

And yet, here I am, challenging myself to pull ideas out of thin air, and on a strict timeline as well.  It’s the craziest thing.  And I’m not alone.  The logo this year says 300,000 people do this now, every year.  Not all of them will win, and most of those who win will never publish their novel, and many produce a pile of words that you would never recognize as a novel at all. But publishing isn’t the goal. (I was going to say winning isn’t the goal, but that’s the definition of ‘winning’ and ‘goal’.) Winning isn’t the point, or at least it isn’t the focus.  Writing is, and writing with other people, and talking about writing, and feeling good about writing, and then writing some more.

So how do I prepare for such a task?  Apparently, I slack off.  I stopped writing daily blog posts before Camp NaNoWriMo in August, and then neglected it for September and October.  Then the fall TV season kicked in and I watched a lot of television.  I thought about writing an outline for my next story, but that never happened. I installed the demo version of a program called WriteWay yesterday, and was overwhelmed by all the fields and places to put notes and summaries and structure.  Surely that would require as much effort to write as writing the book itself!

When I started this blog, it was to give me a reason to write ~500 words of structured text every day.  I’ve written short essays, I’ve posted my random thoughts on the nature of reality and dreams, and I’ve thrown in a few bits of flash fiction.  I never shared any of my novel.  During August, it was liberating to write just for myself.  Now I want a new challenge.  After I reach my daily goal (which is 1667 words), I pick out at least one paragraph to post here.  Maybe I’ll comment on it, maybe I’ll add to it, or maybe I’ll end up apologizing for it.  At least it will keep me on track and honest.

Oh dear, I’ve scared myself again.

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2012 October 12 Friday

Future Fantasy

Filed under: writing — kdefg @ 15:36

I have not yet published a book.  I have not yet revised my draft into a form ready to be sent to an editor.  Heck, to be honest, I never finished my first draft!  Technically I did “win” NaNoWriMo Camp in August, by passing the finish line with 50,000+ words, but I never wrote a final chapter for my story.  I stopped abruptly as it was reaching a climax, and I have not added to it since then. However, this does not stop me from thinking about what the future might be like after my novel reaches an audience.

In my mind, I picture myself getting asked to speak to groups about my characters and the world I created for them.  I imagine that fans have created a wiki where they can catalog all the details spelled out in my narrative, and they can collaborate on speculating about the parts I merely implied.  They ask me to comment on their work, telling them what they got right and correcting them where I think they missed my intent.  We share an interest in understanding how my fictional universe works, and enjoy filling in the backstory and projecting where it might lead.

I do not picture myself going on promotional tours.  If anything, I am a recluse. I do not want to be famous, at least not under my own name.  I don’t want people to know where I live, but I will gladly create a virtual identity for the public to interact with me.  I want people to be talking about the ideas in my book, not about me.

After my book is in circulation, I might not ever write a second one.  Perhaps I will blog or write articles or have essays published in magazines.  I will add ‘writer’ to my list of jobs I have done, and move on to something else, because that’s what I’ve always done.  Writing was not my life’s calling, not something I grew up striving to achieve.  It’s something I wanted to try, to see whether or not I could do it, but not something I felt compelled to do.  With an attitude like that, it’s entirely possible that I won’t ever publish a second novel because the first one will never be complete.

And yet, the world I created for my first draft intrigues me.  It nags at me to be explored and refined.  It’s the reason I fantasize about the wiki instead of the income, the details instead of the dollars.  With idle moments of drifting thoughts, I am collaborating with my future self on the novel, filling in the blanks and adding details for the characters to interact with.  Without writing anything down, I am still writing my novel.  If it’s not considered cheating, I would like to rewrite the same novel for NaNoWriMo in November.  I can’t wait to see how that last chapter turns out!

 

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