SO EXCITE + Hunger Games video

| Friday, November 19, 2010
*stumbles through the door*

OH MY GOODNESS, A BLOG. I HAVEN'T SEEN ONE OF THESE IN A DOG'S AGE. What does that expression mean, anyway? I don't know.

First: I am SO SORRY I've been mostly absent this month and haven't been able to say hello or visit your blogs or interact much at all. Things have been crazy. My NaNo project has pretty much fallen by the wayside, too. I still have time, but I don't know if it's going to happen. ALL THE SADS :(

Second: Guess what I'm doing tonight? I am GOING TO SEE HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS in SAN FRANCISCO with MARK from MARK READS HARRY POTTER. YES, SERIOUSLY. I'm way excited, you guys. You have no idea. I'm going to try and film a vlog, but it's likely to be rainy and loud so it's debatable whether that will work out. BUT I'M GOING TO TRY.

Third: There's this Hunger Games fan video making the rounds that is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and you really need to watch it. As long as you've read the first book, because it contains spoilers. But it's SO GOOD. AND SO SAD. Enjoy! Here's the direct link if the embedded player stops working: http://dft.ba/-HGFanVid

How have you guys been otherwise? Good? I hope so! Let me know it comments :)

braindead.

| Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Okay, so I'm starting to think that I should maybe just give in and say that for the month of November, this blog will be updated on days when I find time to update it? Ack. I hope you're all doing well!

AAARGH CHAOTIC MONTH I CANNOT HANDLE YOU.

Taking NaNoWriMo with a grain of salt.

| Friday, November 5, 2010
Today's Tune: Beat It (cover)

Two NaNo-themed posts in the first week? SHOCKING, I'M SURE.

So there was this Salon article essentially about how NaNoWriMo is a complete waste of time at which I rolled my eyes a little, though some of the points were valid. Let's break it down, shall we?

Writing = narcissistic, reading = selfless. Writers will write with or without encouragement; readers need to be the ones applauded.

Not sure I totally follow this line of logic. I suppose there is a nugget of truth in the fact that writing is always intricately tied to the author's ego, so okay. But reading is selfless? Erm. I guess if you subscribe to the idea that people are giving up their money and time to read, you could make this stretch. Ultimately, however, they're paying for and (hopefully) enjoying entertainment. When did enjoying art or entertainment become a selfless act?

I am under no illusions that without readers/consumers, there would be no more books. That is unarguably true. And some writers can be self-aggrandizing a-holes, no doubt. But I think most authors are thankful for the audience they have, and they continue to write through thick and thin for themselves AND that audience. Writing, really writing, is hard. Heartbreaking. Cruel. Most of us do it because we love it.

Writing has become a commercial thing - there's more money to be made from aspiring authors than people who read.

This point isn't lost on me. There IS a rather large market out there for people who want to write. There are people out there who cash in on this idea that anyone can write a book - people who will plump up the dreams of would-be authors, promise them the moon, and then leave them devastated when nothing comes of it. But NaNo isn't part of this problem. NaNo is about companionship, competition, exercising writing muscles, and good old-fashioned fun.

There may be people who take it the wrong way and assume writing 50,000 words means insta-publication, but the majority of us are not that naive. We'll take it for what it is - a way to get the juices flowing and pump something out that may or may not be worth revising into something that doesn't suck.

Agents and editors are DREADING the coming months and the deluge of NaNovels.

Eh. I read a lot of editor and agent blogs and subscribe to their twitter accounts, too. Yes, many have mentioned that they know the NaNovels are coming. But the idea that this is that much different than usual? Bah. The slush pile isn't new. Most of the blogs/tweets I read are mildly apprehensive, but not overly annoyed or filled with dread.

Want to know what's going to happen to the unpolished NaNovels that end up in agent inboxes next month? The same thing that happens to unpolished manuscripts every other month. In the (in)famous words of one Janet Reid: "This is a form rejection."

The world doesn't need more bad books, there are too many books and not enough readers, there are too many people who want to write but not read, etc.

This isn't news. The very nature of publishing dictates that only a fraction of novels ever written are published, and even fewer are successful. Regarding the bad books... hm. If this is referring to bad manuscripts? Most of those go unpublished. Some seem to slip through, but they're rare. If it is referring to published books, well, even the "bad" books have their place.

I'll admit, I'm a little bit of a literature snob. I don't much enjoy the poorly-written-but-high-concept stuff that always seems to appear on bestseller lists. But here's the thing: they often appear on the bestseller lists. All art cannot be created equal. If everything were a masterwork, nothing would be a masterwork. "Bad" books help keep the industry afloat, and there can be no good without the bad.

As to the last point, yes. There are a lot of people out there who seem to think writing is unconnected to reading. This is a viewpoint I don't much understand - how can one expect others to read work when they're unwilling to read the work of others? And that's not even touching on the fact that people who don't read don't generally write very well because they aren't familiar with their own genre.

Writing "crap" is a complete waste of time, energy, and resources.

This is one point I will 100% completely disagree with. I hate to break this to everyone, but first drafts are almost always complete crap, no matter who's writing them. Learning how to write means you will suck. This idea that even good (even GREAT) writers can pull flawless fiction from their mind on the first try is bunk. NaNo doesn't encourage you to keep the crap. It encourages you to revise the crap.

True, the article touched on this, but it ignores the fact that people who ignore that advice? They're the people who write manuscripts without doing any research anyway. If one chooses to miss the point of drafting --> revision --> novel, they're going to miss it regardless of how they came about completing that first draft. People are inherently lazy. This is not news. Hell, I'm lazy. I should be working on my own NaNo right now, but I'm blogging instead.

Speaking of which... back to the Word document for me.

cutting back on posting.

| Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Why hello!

You may (or may not) have noticed I didn't get a post up this morning. That's mostly because I'm finding the month of November to so far be CUCKOO BANANAS INSANE.

As such, I think it'd probably be good for me to reduce the frequency of my posts this month. After this week, I'll be switching to a Tuesday-Thursday update schedule for the month of November. Potentially for December as well, if things continue to be nuts. You know, just FYI.

How are my NaNo buddies doing? How are my non-NaNo buddies doing?

I'm at a little over 5000 words and still chugging along. WOO.

Obligatory NaNoWriMo Post.

| Monday, November 1, 2010
Today's Tune: The Compromise

OBLIGATORY NANOWRIMO POST!

NaNoWriMo is upon us again, and I'll be willing to wager these delicious TJ's dark chocolate peanut butter cups on my desk that a good chunk of us are going to be swallowed by the novel-writing bug this month. Are you participating?

I'm "cheating" this year, because I'm just rewriting another draft of my current project. But I need to get it done, and what better month, right?

I won NaNo last year, and I'm hoping to do so again this year. If you're interested in tips and tricks of the trade, here's how I was able to crank out 50,000 words in 24 days last year.

1.) Set your limit to 2,000 words a day. Or, BARE MINIMUM, 1,667 words. I made my goal at least 2,000 a day in order to give myself a little wiggle room in case I had to take a day off.

2.) Discipline yourself. This isn't going to be easy to do, but it's not impossible. Set "writing time" in chunks - morning, afternoon, evening. Or like I did: 500 words before work, 500 on lunch break, 1,000+ in the evening after work. You may have to give up sleep, TV, crazy parties, etc., but it's just for this one month.

3.) This isn't going to be perfect. In fact, you're probably going to be lamenting how much it sucks even as you're writing it. But it doesn't matter. Suck anyway. Let the suck flow freely.

4.) DON'T GO BACK AND EDIT. It will be tempting, but DON'T DO IT.

5.) Write whatever comes to mind. Don't worry about rules or everything you're not supposed to do. Write the lengthy backstory. Write the annoying prologue. Write the monologue explanations. Write the adverbs and dialogue tags. Write it all.

6.) Dream sequences, characters randomly breaking into song, and lengthy descriptions of the scene are all good for plumping up word count. And that's what NaNo is about: word count.

7.) Take breaks. If you're getting too stressed out, then it's time to relax. This is supposed to be an exercise. Something fun that will allow you to say "I wrote a NOVEL" at the end. If you're having the opposite of fun, then your brain needs a little R&R.

8.) Make up your own science and have one character explain it to another. Works for me.

9.) Push through writers block. Introduce a new character, a new obstacle, a sudden revelation, a change in plan. Shake your characters up and keep going.

10.) Don't take this too seriously. If you don't finish, it's okay. There's always next year. Just enjoy it.
 

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