I recently mentioned to one of my sisters, that I would be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, and she asked me why. I guess with everything else I'm doing, she didn't think I'd have time. And I probably don't, but this got me thinking. Why NaNoWriMo?
I think one of the biggest pitfalls for writers is not writing. How is this possible? Well, when you're faced with a big project isn't it just easier to do the dishes and watch TV? So NaNoWriMo forces us to write for one month, as much as we can, and kind of makes up for the other 11 months were we did no writing. Right? Not really, but it helps. For any writer who is having trouble just putting pen to paper, NaNoWriMo helps push them to write. So I'm doing it again this year in hopes that I'll finally get some writing done to file away with all of my other unpublishable novels.
To get any potential writers in the mood for the upcoming write fest, here is a convo I had with a fellow writer about NaNoWriMo. As you can see, before the month already starts, I'm defeating myself.
Some background information: I'm currently working on an outline for a story, which may be a post apocalyptic thriller, similar to the Road by Cormac McCarthy which my sister Cecy has easily summarized with the words: "The Road was dark and murky, a durky durky turkey." I never read the book, since she explained that it's just that phrase printed over and over again. How they made a movie out of it, I'll never know...
me: Did you decide what to write about for NANOWRIMO?
Andrew: No, still not sure
How’s your outline going? Still going to write the story about the night people?
me: I'm not sure
I feel like I keep trying to write the same story again and again and I don't want it to be like that
me: I just get ideas in my head and I'm like "That would be great!" but I can't use it in every story
Andrew: work it into one story, one long kickass story
me: then it would be crap, everything I ever thought was cool in one story would be like a cowboy zombedy alien adventure post apocalyptic magical story with shamanic elements and historically inaccurate characters and some people with mutant abilities and the potential for talking animals and mythological beings
me: plus ninjas, pirates, time travelers and cyborgs and other things I can't think of right now but I'd have to add later
you could easily write a book about zombies and ninjas
me: I could write a book about a lot of things, the problem is, is that when I start outlining something and I think "I should add this" but then I realize that it doesn't really fit I just think it's cool so I want to add it to everything
like every post apocalyptic story I think of I always want to add someone who can make references to our time
because I think that's funny
but I can't do it every time
because then it's boring
and doesn't always make sense
Andrew: then stop adding things!
me: Its hard outlining and creating characters when I keep falling back into what I want every story to have
so I'm struggling with the outline so far
Andrew: do what i did last year
get an idea
don’t really know what happens
it’s hard because you can sit on a page for a while
other times its easy because the idea is so raw and pure that you can just get cracking on it like no other
me: I worry about just going in circles, or missing gaps because I don't have a set path
you go over the path then you patch up any major gaps on the edit
it’s not perfect but it’s something
Andrew: and it’s fun to do it free flowing because instead of writing about the coffee shop shes about to walk into, you may notice a shop next to it that lures her in first
me: it's just scary to jump without a safety net
Andrew: but you have a good story idea in the post apoc
That’s your net
you have ideas and plans for it
me: I guess I just want it to be amazing but I can't steal aspects from other stories to make it amazing, it has to be unique
and potentially not amazing
Andrew: well that happens
but it will be good
me: I'm going to write a blog post about Nanowrimo and some of this convo might appear in it
me: it's so much easier to find material for blog posts than for novels
Andrew: make a blog book
me: been doneI need more durky durky turkey for my novel
it has to be 'The Road 2: Extra Durky, less Turkey"
Andrew: More Murky
me: and a whole lotta road
I wouldn’t worry too much about it jen, it’s like 3 pages a day average to hit the 50k mark
if you don’t like what you got, redo it
me: i guess I just don't want to fail again nor do I want to come up with unusable junk
I expect too much
it's like the book Great Expectations but poorly written
and starring me