posted by dave on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 11:29 PM in category general

I have serious doubts that this will work. I just wanted to say that, right up front. So there's no doubt about my doubt.

I went to this thing. A meeting, actually. For a thing called National Novel Writing Month. I'd never heard of it before, but apparently they're organized enough to have their own website. Not that that is saying a whole lot. After all, I have my own website.

Anyway. I went to this thing because LaptopGirl invited me to it. I would have, of course, gone to anything to which LaptopGirl invited me. A dog shit tasting. A neo-Nazi convention. A football game. So I felt a bit fortunate that this meeting was about something that I could possibly be interested in. Or, at least, something that I could feign interest in.

The point of this thing, for those of you who haven't clicked the conveniently placed link which I so generously provided, is that you write a 50,000-word novel in a month. The month of November, to be precise.

Also, I'm not really sure that it has to be an actual novel that you write, because I asked if I could just use my regular blog stuff and they said that I could. It can be autobiographical nonfiction. That would be a pretty shitty novel, I think. But I do have a title for it already.

A November to Remember.
Pretty clever, huh?

Probably not very original, but as long as I don't Google it, I can continue to imagine that I made it up all on my own, and that I was the first to do so.

To write 50,000 words in November would require averaging 1,667 words every day. I looked back through some of my old blog entries, and the longest one I found was 1,800 words. So that was cool. But then I counted all the words for every entry for all of the months that I've done this, and the most words I found was a little over 12,000. So that sucked.

Basically, most of my most verbose writing came when I was crazy. So, to become verbose again, all I have to do is be crazy again. I certainly could do that, but I don't want to.

This entry is a test. To see how long it takes me to write 1,667 words, and also to see if I can do it without much effort. Because I can't imagine putting effort into writing 1,667 words every day for a month. If I do this, I'll just have to sort of skate through most days.

Okay, it was 426 words up to the end of that last paragraph. And it took me about 15 minutes, but I went to pee at one point, so maybe 13 or 14 minutes, tops. Now, all I have to do is quadruple my current output, and I'm home-free. Then, all I have to do is manage the same feat every single fucking day in November.


I have a very strong suspicion that this would be an easier feat if I wrote fiction. Like a real novel. I've never really tried that, but I don't think I'd be very good at it. And I don't want to write something that has no real hope of being at least readable.

Only 543 now. Damn.

I do have some ideas for fictional stories. There are even a couple that I've had rattling around in my head since I was a kid. I even have a couple of opening sentences waiting at the ready for a story to back them up. I started one, once. It's probably in one of my notebooks around here somewhere. I only remember the first sentence.

Gary knew a flying saucer when he saw one.
My Nebula Award awaits. Although, now that I think about it, Gary is a pretty dumb name. It's way too normal and common. My character would need a more unusual name. One that suggested strength, both of body and of character.


Nope, too dated.


Ugh. Too much strength, and my character would not be gay. He would also wear a shirt at all times.

I dunno don't know do not know. Notice how cleverly I just increased my word count? Pretty subtle, I know.

Only 698?!?

Fuck. Not even halfway there.

I kind of think that writing this novel in blog format would be cheating. I'm not saying that I won't do it that way, I'm just saying that the idea doesn't seem quite legitimate. Kind of like when LaptopGirl asked if she could convert one of her existing screenplays to novel format. That, of course, would definitely be cheating.

See, I think that we're supposed to write new stuff. And, I get the impression, it's supposed to be stuff that we wouldn't be writing anyway. Like, it's supposed to be writing that we do specifically for this nanowrimo thingy. That's why I think the blog thing would be cheating. I already write 4,000 words every month, adding 46,000 more wouldn't be that great of a challenge. All I'd have to do is let the crazy thoughts back out of the bottles.

Would that be worth it? No way. Not even for a Pulitzer.

I was thinking about this for a while last night, because sleep was certainly out of the question. At about 3:30 in the morning, I had an actual good idea. Me, of all people. I think that, if I end up participating in this thing, the novel I write will be a direct result of that idea. So that means that I'm not going to say what my idea was so nobody steals it.


Still only 928 words. I don't see how I could possible make it to my goal tonight. It's almost time to start checking my email every 10 seconds, and I can't be expected to write and do that at the same time.

I think that, tonight, I should stop at 1000 words. That's a nice round number. Wait, I guess that's actually an even number. Maybe, instead, I will stop at 999.

comments (2)

i think it would be awesome if you wrote a novel, i would want to read it. you have a lot of intresting things to say and have a really great imagination. if there was anyone out there that could do it, it would be you. go for it. it could be something very rewarding and you might find a new hobby.

People have told me that before. I'm not sure I buy it. Thanks, though.

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