Saturday, 5 November 2005

the madness is creeping over me

police tape
I've just killed Brian. Actually I did it Thursday. And now I have to rub out his parents. They were never going anywhere. But Jake, Clare and Bigsy have a future, at least for the time being. and I have to find out why the guy in the Alfa is driving to Cannes.
Yes, I'm having a go at the wierdest thing - this Nanowrimo novel scribbling thing. 50,000 words between 1st and 30th November (I shall need to see when it finishes - GMT or whatever!) And don't panic, I won't fill this blog with pages of still wet storyline. In the words of the Nanowrimo web page, if I'm just writing 50,000 words of crap, why bother? Why not just write a real novel later, when I have more time?

My adaptation of their three reasons:

1) If I don't do it now, I probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a "one day" event. As in "One day, I'd like to write a novel." Here's the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It's just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START. Once you have the first five chapters under your belt (I'm only around Chapter Two at the moment), the rest will come easily (they say). Or painfully. But it will come and apparently I'll have friends to help see it through to 50k.

2) Aiming low is the best way to succeed. With entry-level novel writing, shooting for the moon (another plotline? maybe not) is the surest way to get nowhere. With high expectations, everything written will sound cheesy and awkward. Instead, evaluating in terms of word count, takes that pressure away. And maybe I'll surprise myself with a great bit of dialogue here and a ingenious plot twist there. Strangely, the characters have already started doing things I don't expect and the story has already wandered across into France. I'm sure there will be much execrable prose, but amidst the crap, there may be some glimpses of something better.

3) Art for art's sake does strange things to you. In my case it makes me feel even more crazy than usual. I know I have to put on my extra thick personal self esteem shield because whatever I do will create a great selection of knowledgeable critics. But this is one where I think the fun is being in the game. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and "must-dos" of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is mainly mad, but it is already an amusing way to spend a few hours.

[479 words]

...and now back to the plot (I've always wanted to write that).

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