Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NaNoWriMo--Day Sixteen, and STILL having to defend it??

Just because I'm in the Xmas mood
As we walk along Planet Earth, we do a lot of stupid crap from which obviously no one is exempt.  We run out on dates at the last minute because we didn't realise the long line across his forehead was one, big eyebrow, and not the shadow from a ball cap.  We measure our entire lives in dress sizes:  "I'm losing ten to fit into my prom dress."  Then, "I'm losing ten to fit into my wedding dress."  Me?  I'm losing ten to fit into my burial dress.  And finally, and this is my favourite, we buy a snack of a Snickers bar and a Diet Coke.

But the one thing I'm seeing a lot of, and am beginning to get a wee bit hot under my collar about, is that those of us who are participants of this year's NaNoWriMo, are now getting burned for such participation by "real" writers.  I've spent two days of this week alone addressing half-considered comments on another forum in which I'm a contributing author, from writers too proud to admit they don't know everything there is to know under the sun about writing.  Or, about Nano.

"Mandatory word counts?  Ah--that would then explain the myriad sub-par material lining bookstore shelves."  This paraphrased comment from one writer.

Then another, less-snarky author who genuinely questioned the process said this paraphrased comment:  "Seems the only goal of this event is to get 50,000 words in any order saved to a file.  Big deal."

In short, I am a comedy writer.  I love writing comedy--it makes me happy.  So when I sit down to tackle yet another brilliant comedic essay, or my comedic novel (of which I'm currently writing for Nano), for someone like me who deals with the negative effects of a high-IQ to be able to simply sit and write with the express intent of only getting the story out onto the page is extremely liberating!  Comedy writers often employ something I've spoken about before, called a burn draft.  You sit and write your story as quickly as you can with no thought for content, or even quality.  Then you go back and really work it into something of brilliance when the draft is done.  Do you know how often I deal with that bitch editor of mine?  Too often to count.  So when the chance came to sign up for this event, sure, I had my own questions at first, but decided for once in my life not to over think anything and just jump in with both feet and let 'er rip.

And I'm SO glad I did!  This morning before heading to bed at 4 a.m., I hit the 30,000 word mark.  And looking back on it, while there is one scene of dialogue interaction between the two main characters that I've never been so happy with, most of it will remain after the final draft is done, only to be shaped, molded and worked like fine clay into something of brilliance that my readers/fans have come to expect from me (I'm so full of it I sicken myself sometimes).

So let the LA Times columnists of the world roar, I say. Let those who consider themselves to be NOVELists of LITerature piss all over your efforts.  We both know that those who are participating will only take away from the event only what they were meant to:  If you're not a serious writer, then come December 1 you'll end up trashing what you've written, and if you are a serious writer, as I am, then come December 1 you'll put the work away, have a cookie, and then a month later let the revisions begin.

But in the meantime, the next time someone snarks at you for writing a novel that chances are will never see one of those bookstore shelves, just remember this:  with your metabolism, YOU will still be able to enjoy that Snickers bar and Diet Coke, and that snarker?  In about five years when they're too old to remember their name, they'll be gumming their food.

Life's good, innit?

1 comment:

  1. I'm laughing out loud at the diet Coke and Snickers bar bit. I've done that too many times to count...

    Yay for standing up for NaNo! Yay for 30,000 words! Yay for a great post!