As anyone who actually reads my blog would know, I am a writer.
November is National Novel Writing Month.
Therefore my blog will suffer.
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people to write. Specifically, the goal is to write a fifty thousand word novel in a month. I have plenty of novels to write and several to rewrite but I am specifically focusing this month on a complete do-over of a novel I wrote over 20 years ago. We’re supposed to be writing a new novel, and trust me, this is. Nothing I wrote 20 years ago is usable, readable or by any means anything other than tripe.
Okay, that’s not actually true. I have several things that I wrote in college that were good A-quality work. I know this because I got A’s in every college level English class and was about 6 credits short of graduating with an English degree when I realized that there are very few degrees out there more worthless than a degree in English Composition. And there’s the fact that the school was actually kicking me out for acquiring a record number of ‘F’s in the classes I deemed worthless. Okay, when I say I was 6 credits short, I’m only talking about the core English classes. There were a lot of general education classes like science and math that I just had no interest in. They put them on my schedule and I went to those classes occasionally, and never after the third week of classes. For the record, I do not recommend this approach to collegiate education. No matter how many movies show the guy skipping classes and coasting through on his personality or his wit or his raw intelligence, it doesn’t work that way in real life. Not that I’m particularly witty and I’m certainly not Van Wilder in personality. Okay, so I have lots of raw intelligence and some that I’ve managed to refine over the years. Still, none of these things have managed to replace hard work as a way to succeed in life.
Wow, I really took off on that tangent.
The point is, when it comes to writing, I actually know what I’m doing. I’m firmly of the opinion that anyone can write a novel. When it comes to novel writing, grammar is not as important as story. Certainly it’s important to be able to form a sentence, but it’s not so important to adhere to any particular structure. Sure, traditional voices, like third person limited omniscient, can be more reader friendly, they’re not as important as the story itself. Really, just write a story like you’d tell it and you’re ninety percent of the way there. Spell-check will complete the first draft.
And the first draft is the goal of NaNoWriMo.
Second drafts are the other ninety percent of the work. The problem I have with second drafts is that I keep thinking of ways to make it better. And since the draft is on a computer there is no finite end to the second draft…it’s a living changing document until I publish it in print.
And that was yet another tangent.
My point is that my daily blogging, which I’ve been very good at doing once a week, is probably going to be either non-existent or pertaining to NaNoWriMo for the next three weeks. You’ve all read more than you want to about the Penn State scandal. (Quick opinion: Fire everyone who knew anything about it.) Occupy has become accepted by the mainstream – an acceptance that dulls the edge of the movement, unfortunately. I know I’ve been critical of the movement in my blog and I’m not terribly supportive of it, but I think its a good thing to be happening because it does make people examine some aspects of our society. But still, nothing new there to blog about.
And there’s nothing controversial about Thanksgiving, you know the day we give thanks to the Native Americans for saving the pilgrims from starvation by giving them diseases and taking their land. Or is that what we celebrate on Columbus Day? Quick Factoid: THere was a city in Illinois in the twelfth century that some think had a population about the same as London at the time. (search the internet for Cahokia).
I’m good at the tangents today, aren’t I?
Anyway, less blogging, more writing. The story I’m working on takes place in the same world as “Sheillene: Choosing Fate” and “Of Maia’s Mist” (See Currently Available Published Works up at the top of this page). It’s a few years after Sheillene and decades before Maia’s Mist. The original was also the first story I wrote that takes place in the setting, so it’s the birthplace of the setting. But, all I am keeping of the original are the characters and the points of action that became history by the time of Maia’s Mist. It is a new novel based on an existing story with fewer of the cliché situations that I had in my original version. Nine days in, I have 24,000 words. I’m not counting 8,000 words of outline and an existent short story I’m slipping into the novel in that word count.
For fans of my fiction, and I like to pretend I have some, I would hope to see something this spring in publication.