The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

There’s Nothing Wrong With A Little Hard Work

Posted by BigWords on August 24, 2009

…But A Lot Of Hard Work Is Better.

I’m a glutton for punishment. It’s the only thing that comes to mind when you consider that – despite being as overworked as ever – I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. There’s enough time to start thinking of ideas, but I’m going to refrain from doing anything about them until November rolls around. There’s lots of folks doing it, and it sounds like it could be fun… In a write-until-your-fingers-bleed kinda way. Which is good. It’ll give me a concrete deadline for a quick little (50k is one word over novella length) story.

I’ve already sketched out what I will be doing for most of September, and there is a couple of shorts I really should get around to completing, but this is too good an opportunity to miss. It’s worth big bragging rights as well, but I wouldn’t bet on that saving my ass when I have to edit the malformed, crazy-ass shit into something resembling a narrative. It’ll be a break from my growing list of WIPs, and if I treat it like a holiday then I should be done with a first draft in the first couple of weeks of November. Hopefully.

So, excerpts from the nice “membership confirmation” e-mail:

It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do so. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.

Yeah, but that would mean I know what I want to write about already. Hmmm… Maybe a WWII story through the eyes of an immortal and insane vampire. Or an SF story that looks at how hard getting laid could be when there aren’t any humanoid species around. A romantic comedy perhaps… between a robot and a vacuum cleaner?

Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November.

That’s what I’m doing. Right here, and right now.

This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month.

I don’t care what people think. Which is the reason I wear comic-book t-shirts in public. In a non-ironic way.

The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.

Uh, gotta tell everyone that personal humiliation can be helpful. You wouldn’t believe the horribly embarrassing things I’ve done… Then written about. Firstly because I have no shame, and secondly because people need a good laugh every now an again. If you weren’t laughing at my misadventures, then you would be laughing at some other poor bastard. If there is one thing I have learned, it is the importance of being an idiot once in a while.

Two months until the shit hits the fan.

Start the countdown to the fun and games…

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