Wednesday, October 27, 2010
NaNo Q & A
For my last pre-NaNoWriMo post I drafted what I thought was a final, nifty list of NaNo No-Nos, or what everyone should not do during the month ahead of us. I was quite proud of my list, at least until the next day when I went to give it a final edit. By some weird personality transference I discovered that my mother had written most of it. I could even hear her in between the lines:
You can't be excused until you finish the rest of that chapter. I don't care if it's cold and you don't like it. Think about all the poor starving writers in China.
Fun is for rich writers who hire other people to write their books. Real writers have to work for a living.
Don't run with that story! You'll trip and fall and hurt yourself.
I don't know where any of that came from. Maybe I'm worried. My mom is the Sole Ruler of Planet Anxiety, and I automatically default to her on all matters of apprehension, unease and worry. I know a bit about how tough writing a novel can be, and I also want November to be a good experience for everyone who joins in.
I love my mom, but I'm not her. I can't be her. Like most of you, I want to have fun with this writing marathon. In fact, having fun with work and making work fun are two of my life missions. I believe taking a risk can be worth a painful fall. And even if the poor starving writers in China hate me, I can and will throw out a cold, unappetizing chapter without finishing it.
NaNoWriMo starts on Monday. For thirty days, writers around the world will go to work to have fun, take all kinds of risks, and run with story toward that fifty-thousand-word finish line. It's not about Publishing or book sales, who's a pro and who's not, or what anyone else thinks we should do. It's about us, the storytellers, and doing what we love. November belongs to us. Worry can't have it. Neither can the No-Nos.
Instead of a list, what I offer my fellow NaNo'ers today is my experience as a professional novelist and creative writing teacher, ala our old Friday 20 posts here at PBW. This means if you have a question about anything related to writing a novel, post it in comments and I'll do my best to answer it.
And please, do one thing for me in November with your NaNo novel: whatever you want.
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