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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chapter One Hundred Forty-Six, in which there is a new Beginning

Due to the popular demand of half our readers, we will now present an update on the progress of our participation in NaNoWriMo.

An intriguing premise and lots of promise does not a novel make. What we began even had a concrete ending at which to aim. Yet after those first few words there was nothing more to come. Which means nothing else bubbled to the surface. Which means we didn't really try, we waited for Inspiration. And with thousands of other writers doing the same thing, Inspiration was busy elsewhere. Inspiration, as we used to remind ourself regularly, is the reward of daily practice.

Wanting to write and writing are not the same thing. Wanting to write merely requires an Idea, which is but a first kiss to the complete consumation of Inspiration. The Idea is a tease.

What we discovered, or more to the point, confirmed, is that we are from the camp which believes this is mainly a stunt. We are not a writer who can produce on demand. And yet...

A week after our late and aborted start of a novel, we Selected All and Deleted, and we started over with something new. This new novel, tentatively called NaNoWriMo, does not have an end in sight. It does, however, have characters who we know, characters we can take from personal experience and plug them in to this new situation, a combination of writers' retreat, The Real World, Survivor, and (the theme of all our novels) affairs of the heart. And in one brief sitting we produced around 20% more words than we did with the start of Disaster. But what did we really know about Greek courtesans? Writing, and the troubles of writing under the pressure of a writing contest in which one writer is removed at the end of each week (but why not more than just removed, why not eaten, or shot, or some more sinister fate, or apparently sinister, like in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory?) falls closer to the realm of what we know.

What ten days comes down to so far is that we have no chance at this. Despite our spotty postings, we would have a better chance at succeeding at NaBloPoMo. Well, the enthusiasm of others can be infectious, and dreams die hard, and the truth is that we still want to write. Among all the other ideas and characters and teases has even been a renewed interest in finishing the favorite novel we have been working on completing for, what, oh, five or more years? That is what really needs to happen here, and if we can put down any words to that end, we will gladly violate the rules of this affair and count them toward our total. Which, actually if we combine the first output with the second output comes to around 1600 words total. Success is defined differently for us all. And maybe we will end the month being the biggest loser of all. Not writing the most words--now that's something every aspiring writer is quite good at.

1 comment:

  1. Here's what I think: I think you leave the words you've written in there. You do a page break. You start again. Or you begin where your 5 year novel left off and see where it takes you. Even if it only takes you 1600 words further by the end of the month.

    The value of nanowrimo isn't in the "winning" at the 50,000 word mark. The value is in this very struggle. In facing yourself as a writer and determining if you like what you see. I am also struggling but am embracing the struggle - it reminds us why we love books and why we deign to think we are worthy enough to write them!

    (And I'm sorry, BTW, if I am guilty of early enthusasim that got you in this muck to begin with!)