Friday, November 12, 2010

17,445 Words Down, 32,555 to Go

Did anyone remember that November is National Novel Writing Month? What's a NaNoWriMo you ask? Essentially the goal is to write a 50,000 word 'novel' in 30 days. I see now the wave of understanding that is washing over your faces as you begin to see why I've been more spacey than usual the past 12 days. Simply put, it is because NaNoWriMo has fried my brain, eaten my soul and proceeded to spit out the remains. That is what I am currently functioning on--my own regurgitated brain and soul.  So yea, overall things are going swimmingly. It's an exercise in absurdity, so how could it be otherwise?

If you'll recall, in 2008 I finished my 50,000 words, but the story was only half told at that point. It sucked so bad that I have only looked at it twice since. Both times I slammed the laptop shut and wept for three days while surviving on a diet of Peanut M&Ms and Laughing Cow cheese. That masterpiece now resides on the hard drive of a laptop that has been replaced twice since then. So yea, it's pretty much gone for good.

Then in 2009, I started out meeting each day's word goal with ease. I felt ok about that little story, but remember the purpose here is not quality, but quantity--so we weren't talking future Pulitzer winner or anything. But then I got the swine--as in the flu not that pretty much killed all hopes for finishing that project. That little essay resides on the hard drive of the laptop that replaced the 2008 model. Still harvestable if the urge ever strikes though I doubt it ever will.

Enter 2010: I actually prepared for this year a bit by doing something completely crazy that I had never done before in either of the previous two NaNo's: I sketched out an actual plot. Not a good plot, but at least I have somewhere to take the characters that I've created. I am hoping that this plan will not only get me to the 50k goal, but also will leave me with a rough draft of something I'd actually like to see again. Something that I would be willing to put the time and effort into editing and polishing. And if not, well there's always next year, right? 

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