Friday, 2 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Yes? No? Yes? No?

So I signed up. Well, sort of - every time I try to access the website it crashes my laptop, which some people might consider a Cosmic Indication to stop farting about on the Internet and start doing the actual bloody novelising.

Because, of course, in case you didn't know, in case I hadn't mentioned it every five minutes, I do actually have a novel that I am in the process of writing. (About 8000 words in so far, though only 1600 odd of them officially within the NaNoWriMo dateline) and I thought that it might add a little extra kickarsery to my computer time if every time I switched on and checked Facebook I got a little reminder that I should be working.

But then I had a little nosy about, as you do, and discovered that quite a few people hate NaNoWriMo as much as others love it, and I started wondering. Plenty of professional writers get impatient with amateur writers, and it's true that a lot of amateur writers deserve a degree of it. There's the ones who 'want to' write but don't read, so haven't got a clue what makes a good book, there's the ones who think that writing 'genre' fiction (which they always say with a sneer) is the best way to make a fortune, there's the ones who want to bend the ear of the professional about how they can't get published because publishing is a Closed Shop, waa waa waa - the worse the whining, the worse the book, I have always found - and the ones who 'would love to write a book' but never sit down and do so. To an extent, there's a big positive for the old Nano, it might make these people shut up and stay indoors and actually have a go, for a whole month. And I am generally in favour of art-as-therapy for the unhappy anyway: it is good to express something of yourself, even if your self is actually very uninteresting and inarticulate. The problem arises when you start trying to make other people read it.

However, I think that there is a more pernicious trap in NaNoWriMo, and it's this: Wordcounts or no wordcounts, what can happen with signing up for something like this is you don't do as much actual writing as you do talking about writing. Feverishly comparing scores, reading the rather variable advice from others, reminding everyone you know that you have Signed Up For NaNoWriMo..... and then it's the end of the month and you have managed half a chapter of crap.

On which note, time I got offline and on with Chapter 3.

(all pics 'borrowed' after random googling.)

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