NaNoWriMo. Really!

October 17, 2008

At my office away from the office (Panera), I tried to see how easy it would be to write 2000 words on a cohesive topic.

The exercise was part of the NaNoWriMo event coming up in less than 15 days. That’s right, National Novel-writing Month is November.

Part of my anxiety – aside from the actual word-count issue – is topic. I’m a font of silly ideas, smart commentary and unique introspective conversation starters. But that’s where it ends.

The stuff I usually write are concise and powerful 600-775 word diatribes. How can I hope to create characters, plot, description and wild action in chunks of 650 words? Further, how will I paste the whole thing together well enough to entice a major agent or publisher to take a flyer on my project?

It can’t be that hard, can it?

I mean, at every Tweet-up, cocktail party, family gathering and trip to the dentist, people bludgeon me with their ideas for books once they learn that I’m a professional writer.

Sure, I get paid to write and have done so since the days of green screens and mimeograph machines. But that doesn’t mean I’m a modern-day literary Midas.

Just look back over this rant and count the number of times I’ve used a hyphenated descriptor. That’s amateur hour, but you must concede me the errors in style as I’m trying to pound out the characters.

Nimble fingers are necessary. Just like a toy boat will tangle your tongue, you should try writing alliteration always. Or don’t.

How many words is that? 900? Not even?

C’mon. I’m going to have to do twice this amount AND make it tell a story. I think what I need is some acid. Or at least a lucid dream.

Thank god it’s Friday and I won’t have to think about this heinous challenge until Monday when I’ll be limbering up my fingers again.


NaNoWriMo requires you to write EVERY day of the week? That means my trip to NYC mid-month will include some frantic banging of the keys.

And TurkeyDay will make me look like Mike Felger in a previous life. Anti-social wanker with his laptop at every family event. But it’s for the greater good.

And whatever I end up with next month better be good. And it better be greater than this collection of words.

Every day.

All month long.

Until I reach 50,000 words.


Keep reading…I’ll keep typing.

*Leave your thoughts on NaNoWriMo in the comments. And let me know if you’d like me to dump my daily words right here on the blog. It will give you a chance to see the novel as it travels along a path from concept to abysmal reality.