Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Whaaaat??? Sign-Ups Start Saturday????

To novel or not to novel, that is the question.

In 2001, writing a novel seemed like an absurd idea. I took a writing class in college just so I could spend more time with Bernie, who was actually interested in writing. Uh, that would have been in 1975. Aside from letters, I never wrote again ... until November 2001, when Alex talked me into signing up for National Novel Writing Month. It was insane. It was foolish. It was sheer bliss to sit and write 50,000 words of whatever I wanted to write. No one ever had to see it; at the end of the month, I could say "I made it!" and then hit the delete button, and no one would ever know the secret words that bubbled up out of my brain. (That would be Dreamer, which was rewritten and published not so very long ago, story about a woman just trying to be a good person, reviewing her life through the experience of her dreams.) "I wrote a book," I said at the end of that November, and it was one of the finest days of my life.

Subsequent NaNoWriMo's saw the creation of Time Traveler, Character Assassin, and Out With the Trash; then there were the two completed Aser Books describing some of my adventures as a fictitious character. Three of the books are still in various stages of editing.

That's a lot of writing for someone who never intended to be a writer. I'm tired and aside from blog entries, I haven't written anything for ages. The Aser Stories, once a weekly feature of the Piker Press, have trickled off to one every four months or so.

The support forums for NaNoWriMo have grown horrendously huge, and have been taken over by hordes of people who are looking more for a venue to spew spite and contention than for the warmth and wisdom of other writers. (Well, let's add to that the flamboyant exhibitionists who just love to hear themselves hoick up more and more numbers of posts.) So there's no comfort there, no real draw.

Do I really want to sit down in front of a blank file and start hammering words, humming "No plot, no problem" to myself for 30 days and 50,000 words? Last year I sat down with a story in mind, and halfway through the month hated the very thought of sitting down and making sure I got enough words done. I don't want to hate the thought of writing.

But I am a creature of habit. After four years of this kind of craziness, I've kind of gotten used to spending November in a frenzy of word-flinging. One thing for sure, though, if I don't like what I've written, I'm going to quit. No more fighting for NaNoWords. And I want to write something fun, like Character Assassin was.

I guess I'm in.

Well, of course I do.


Cheryl said...

Yippee! Nano wouldn't be the same without you.

girlzoot said...

A close friend really wants me to participate this year in this event, and I'me very hesitant as I browse through some of the old forum posts by reading over my friend's shoulder.

As it seems you've participated a lot can you give a quick word that would help one keep interest and not be frightened off?

Aser said...

I think the first year I participated I posted once on the NaNoForums all month. I was really intimidated by them, as everyone seemed to know what they were doing, and I sure didn't.

The best way to start is by saying, "I'm going to write a book. It may be a lousy book, but at the end of the month, I will have written A BOOK." And to keep in mind that at the end of the month, you can say, "I did it. I wrote a book of my very own."


Kris said...

The only way I'll ever get to writing a book is to compile whatever I've written till date.