Monday, October 27, 2008

Nanu-Nanu NaNoWriMo

Current Reading: Slipt, by Alan Dean Foster

Inspirational Quote: "That's not writing, that's typing." -- Truman Capote

This demotivator is from Sean Lindsay's wonderful 101 Reasons to Stop Writing Blog.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is a "contest," in which would-be novel writers try to write 50K words in thirty days. There are no quality or ability requirements, nor is there any prize (writing 50K words in a month is enough of a reward, apparently).

Encouraging people to have fun with words, that's a good thing.

Letting people experience first hand the joy of creating fiction, that's a good thing.

Bringing people together over a love of writing, that's a good thing.

Setting a difficult goal for which people can strive and against which people can measure themselves, that's a good thing.

Really, the only bad thing is the number of people who do this, or try to, and decide, "Hey, this writing thing is easy. I'm going to get this published. I'll get rich!"

Um... no.

  1. It ain't easy. See the lack of "quality or ability requirements" mentioned above. Any idiot can produce prose. To repeat the quote from above, that's not writing, that's typing. Writing 50K words is easy. Writing 50K words that make sense together, that's harder. Writing 50K words that tell a compelling, beautiful story that grips the reader and haunts them and makes them see (or want to see) the world differently, THAT'S bloody-near impossible.

    See, to be good, they have to be the RIGHT 50K words. And, to paraphrase Frost, "that makes all the difference."

  2. It ain't going to get published. Pulp and paper manufacturers all over the world love NaNoWriMo because so many sheets are used to print out those stories (alright... usually it's all done electronically, but go with me on this so I can make a contrasting sentence). Agents and Editors hate it because those pages end up in their in-boxes (there. Done). From what I've read, they have enough examples of careless writing already and do not want any more.

  3. You ain't going to get rich. Stephen King gets rich. Joanne Rowling gets rich. The rest of us get a couple of extra bucks that don't begin to repay us for the months we spend all alone in little rooms trying to find the right 50K words. Usually we blow this on a night out, or our children's education fund.

To sum:

Writing encouragment, good thing.

Delusions of grandeur, bad thing.

Have fun.

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