Thursday, October 28, 2010

That's WREE-mo?

NaNoWriMo is in two days and I'm not sure what I want to write.

My last four novels have centered around some really depressing stuff: suicide, troubled youth, family division, drugs, abuse. As though I actually know anything about any of those things. I feel as though I ought to lay the melodrama aside.

Okay, so be honest, I have an idea. I have a whole plot line, with plenty of flexibility and room for angsty rambling. Right in line with the stuff I usually attempt. But again, the premise is so dark! I wonder, if it's not right to dwell on, or if I could possibly describe the scenario without making a mockery of people who have actually endured it.

I just hear Mr. Harrison in the back of my head. "I'd write a story once in a while. I'd write of people and places like I knew, and I'd make my characters talk everyday English; and I'd let the sun rise and set in the usual quiet way without much fuss over the fact. If I had to have villains at all, I'd give them a chance." And Gilbert, too. Write what you know.

I learned last year that the best way to sustain my writing pace is to have something I could literally rant about forever. I've learned from my fellow participants to avoid overly complicated and structured plots that will work you into a dead end. But these wise stipulations leave me with even fewer ideas. I like stringing words together. I don't care for crafting a story. I lack the imagination.

Oh a little part of me just shriveled at that confession.

I find such relief in the knowledge that a story about everyday life can be a legitimate novel, but I also think it's a really bad idea to imitate Virginia Woolf. Just because she could pull it off doesn't mean anyone else should also give it a try.

I don't know, I don't know, my lack of a plan is definitely setting me up for failure. I'm running in danger of tilting my 2:2 ratio towards the "losing" side. Though I previously thought I had already hit this low, I am now looking forward to writing the crappiest novel-in-a-month ever!

[If you haven't already, add me.]


Art said...


I actually am an example of someone with a really complicated plotline for whom NaNo went just fine.

I'm interested by (and kinda sympathize with) this thought of, "But again, the premise is so dark! I wonder, if it's not right to dwell on..."

I also wonder if everyday-happening stories can be written in a rush.

But yeah, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again, and I appreciated hearing your thoughts on it.

Luke said...

just be thankful you actually have time to even consider participating in NaNoWriMo....=/