Saturday, October 14, 2006

To nanowrimo or not to nanowrimo

JTR is participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, and encourages me to do the same.

NaNoWriMo grew to 59,000 participants last year. To use their own words,

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

I participated in the event three years ago. I had just joined Google, and every day after work, I went home and wrote my 1667 words. On November 26, 2003, I crossed the 50k-word mark, which made me a "NaNoWriMo winner".

Except that it was 50,000 words of drivel. I've since deleted the file from my computer, and hope to God no traces of it exist anywhere.

I can identify with the protagonist in this video. (In a display of irony, the quality of the video is also crap.)

Almost all the other NaNoWriMo excerpts I read online and at Bay Area readings were the same way, except JTR's novel which is condensed genius.


Anonymous said...

I fail to see how the poor video quality is ironic. Fitting, maybe, but not ironic.

Anonymous said...

Niniane! You have a talent. I'm serious. You do. The dialogs in your blog are priceless. You capture the essence of a situation, of someone's personality by quoting just the right amount of spoken word.

Through the little snippets of your life I feel extraordinary connection with you and your friends. I can meet them on the street and easily strike a conversation.

You work in the blog is nothing short of amazing. I'm sure other readers of your blog feel the same.

Instead of participating in this little pointless contest, write a real book. About you. About your friends, about your life. With your dialogs. It will be a hit. Do it! I'm very serious.

I feel too embarrassed to reveal ny name now, but some day, if I meet you in person, I will.

Sofia said...

I will second the person above. Write a book but not using this nanowrimo. Best literature takes time. Just look at Poe. He wrote and rewrote and rewrote until he perfected it enough to publish.

Anonymous said...

I think poster #2 must be on crack. The posts are almost painful to read.

What do I come back from time to time? For the pictures of Sara and Christina of course!

ramibotros said...

Hey I've read about here:
U're coming to Egypt? Maybe i can run into you someday..
Seriously, if u have questions it's ramibotros[at]

Anonymous said...

Do nanowrimo just to continue to expand your voice (though with so much output, there is some strain).

HOWEVER - be concerned less with the deadline and use it as a jump start to a real work.

Use the concepts nano brings about (write once, no edit) for your first draft... But don't stop there.

Only somewhat joking: With great talent comes great responsibility [sure, maybe a cheese rip-off of Stan - but - none-the-less - true].

.... :) Good luck. [-g]

zoogler said...

Hey Niniane,

I came across ur Blog while reading ur Interview @ Google Blogoscoped. Putting a very educated 'n' right argument for the asked questions was impressive indeed.

Thanks for letting me know about "NaNoWriMo". Let me try my best this time(my first).

Keep Posting...!

linkysysrouter said...

I'm impressed. You finished!

I'm going to try it next month. I know what it's going to be about too!

By the way:

You = awesome!

The Wandering Author said...

NaNoWriMo is a tool. It will stretch your writing muscles, and it will demonstrate that you can find the time to write if you want to.

If you want to be a writer, do use NaNoWriMo, just to stretch your writing muscles. Then, when you decide to write on your own, you can do a good job in less time.

Beyond that, unless you have a lot of practice writing anyway, or do a decent amount of preparation in October, you won't wind up with a very good novel. Although, even if the novel you wrote was terrible, there is a chance skilfull editing could have turned it into something better.

C Ramesh said...

Thanks for the NaNoWriMo link, Niniane. I'm all excited. Can hardly wait for November 1.