Friday, November 6, 2009

And then there was NaNo

Da-ta-ta-da [cue music]. For those wondering why your local neighborhood writer is either holed up acting more crazed than usual. Or worse, wandering about muttering with twitching fingers and acting more crazed than usual. It Might have something to do with the annual National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo for short. NaNo, for really short. [and not the really tiny, which is a different type of nano.]

And let’s face it, writers are strange lot anyway. I’m not saying All are by any means. I mean, I am not all that odd or peculiar or anything of course. I just hang around with a bunch of …er, creative…people. That happen to be writers. And happen to be, er, creative. A lot.

Whether published and working like crazy on the next deadline, or unpublished and working like crazy to be published [so presumably you can still work like crazy but with a deadline], writers tend to be an odd lot that people around them either grin at or edge away from. [Which are you by the way? ;) grinner or edger?]

Okay but back to NaNo, and safer explanations, November is NaNoWriMo month, where writers strive to get out a novel in a month. Okay so a short-ish novel, but still, a novel. And a feeling of accomplishment at having actually finished one. A short one. But still.

I personally have never officially done NaNo. I just didn’t feel I could take that kind of time to work on something completely new when I have stacks of stories waiting around here for my finishing touches. Okay, okay, so I admit I had a short fling with it unofficially once. It was self defense I swear! The members of my writing group have mostly done NaNo each year and have consistently come up with some interesting, uh, word ‘fodder’ to fill their NaNo word quota. And turned out some ‘interesting’ stories I must say. So as a trial fling to sort of try it out, I tried my hand at flinging words on paper, uh, on the screen actually. I just wrote down whatever came to mind at the time. I showed the few pages to my husband later and he thought it was the best writing I’d ever done. Okay so he hasn’t seen All my writing. It was a very surprising story. Seriously creepy, that I kept having to dilute to keep it from giving me creepy dreams. My writing group insisted it was fantasy and that I should finish it, [I’m sure the fact they All write fantasy didn’t enter into that at all], not being a fantasy writer I wasn’t convinced. And given the creepy factor of it all I didn’t really want to continue thinking about it, no matter which way it was going to go it seemed to have serious creep overtones. So I shelved it in the proverbial drawer, along with the more promising bunches of words that I have waiting to work on. And ventured on back to the rest of the writing stack and current works in progress.

And so NaNo has returned to haunt us all once more. Whether a crazed participant muttering and typing like mad or a crazed bystander trying to help them out with word count, it still crazes the world of writers. I still am not doing it officially. Even more strange this year is the seemingly lack of interest of all but one writing group member, who usually sits it out somewhere along the sidelines where I watch. But while I do not officially participate I am using the writing vibes everyone is putting out in the atmosphere to work diligently at my story that has been in the works for way too long. And seen way too many incarnations and rewrites. I think I have the story at last. Not what I expected at all. And changing as it is being written. Not gotten creepy yet which is good, otherwise I’d have to think it was something about November and not just NaNo.

Course the fact that all writers seem to be heavily working and not writing emails or anything has nothing to do with the rest of us writing more diligently also. Course not. We writers are just an eclectic but supportive group, that support each other however we can. No matter how odd some members seem to be. Or how many really want to be left alone up in that attic to write.

Write on!


Curious Writer said...

I didn't quite do NaNoWriMo last year, but I did step my writing up to 20 pages a week, which was a simultaneous struggle and success. It pushed my book closer to completion, and my creativity to exquisite levels. If I had the time, I'd do it again and maybe even attempt the real version of NaNoWriMo.

But then again, right now, I'm working on selling that novel I was working so hard on last year, so that's my excuse for this November.

Happy writing!

sgchris said...

Well that's the whole purpose of NaNo right? - getting books finished ... so they can be shopped.

That's what I was saying I use NaNo for, like you did, using the energy to push my current work along closer to completion.

Can't say it's ever pushed my creativity to 'exquisite levels' though!
Zowie! I must not be doing Something right!? :::grin::::