A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

writing: _ Christian Writers _ _ NaNo _

reading: _LibraryThing_ _ BookCrossing _ _ My local library _ _ Another nearby library _

blogs: _ Lorie Rees_ _Itinerant Iconoclast_ _ Rita's Ravings _
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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

OK, I signed up for the NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. That means that I will have 30 days (November) to come up with a 50,000 word novel. I love the attitude of the site, and the irreverence it shows in encouraging readers to fulfill the missions. The demystification of the creative process is important. It reminds me of a comment I understand Woody Allen has made recently, while doing work in Europe, which is evidently the only place that people go to his movies. Anyway, what he said was that he does not like the American film industry because "people there only go to movies that are entertaining." Uh, yeah? Woody, it is called the entertainment industry. Ever since he left his wife for her daughter, his career has gone straight down. And you know what? That is a very good thing. We wonder about the moral state of America sometimes, but the fact that Woody Allen's movies gross in the $2-3 million range encourage me. If there is anyone who should be shamed out of the country and out of his celebrity status, it is that man. The point also is that this is a man who needs his sense of own brilliant creativity demystified. So now I get a chance to demystify the creative process by contributing (contributing? I don't think that is what the publisher would call it) to the world of arts and letters. What I love most about NaNoWriMo is that they don't grade on quality, just on quantity. The site has a comment somewhat like: "We receive the final draft, count the words, don't read it, then destroy it!" What a refreshing attitude towards creativity! And since most of writing anyway is rewriting, why not spend as little time as possible on writing. It is the least important part of the finished product, so they say! Why not write the first draft as fast as absolutely possible? I spent time agonizing over the first draft of my one finished novel, and have not even begun the torturous process of revising it. Writing is rewriting. This idea of just speed writing is not my style, well it never has been, maybe this blog and the National Novel Writing Month project will change my attitude and change my habits.

I will try to find my way to the Borders tonight in town for the kickoff party. Maybe meet a few fellow novelists (a much less pretentious word than author, by the way), trade ideas, secrets, advice, and most of all encouragement. Weather and other things permitting, of course. That reminds me, I actually have to go online soon and find out exactly where that Borders is. I have not gotten that far yet in the planning process. But hey I have like 8, 9 hours to find the address and where in town it is. Do I looked worried? No, not at all.

I love, respect and honor creative people. That notion that I can do just a little of what "they" do knocks me out. "They" are just like me, and I don't mean the truly "artistic" type (I mean that in the mean way), I mean the writers. I differentiate between "writer" and "author" the later being those who take themselves and their work way too seriously. You know, the type that James Lipton would interview on Bravo TV. Now those people take themselves a bit too seriously. James Lipton just encourages them , though. Brian Lamb of C-SPAN is the far better interviewer. He never pretends to know an answer, and never has to show off how smart he is. He once asked a biographer of George Washington, "Who was George Washington?" Amazing. Simply amazing. One of my goals in life is to write a non-fiction work that lands me on Booknotes. I already have ran the script through in my mind.

Anyway, so I am looking forward to participating. What a whirlwind of a week it has been. Within a week of committing to write a thousand words a day, I am committing to writing 50,000 in a single month. Thank God I had an outlined novel somewhere just waiting to be written. What I have is "Soul Mates," an alternating POV first person narrative told from both the man and woman's perspectives about their relationship. The only part I have not figured out yet is whether they end up together. I suppose that I can make that decision somewhere around the 29th of November. I found the old outline, dusted it off, and here we are, ready and raring to go. I have approximately 60 scenes, meaning I have to do a pair of thousand word scenes each day in November. Some are the same events told through different eyes, and some are different events, when they are apart from each other and dealing with their own stuff. I also found some notes on the backstory that I had made before. I have two days to work on the outline, flesh out the characters and fine-tune the outline. Then, I have 30 days to write, write, write. Fun, fun, fun.

The nice thing about my job is that I have Friday off, so I can begin writing Friday morning. I have to consider all the hard questions -- write at the library, on the computer, pen and paper then the computer. It all has to get on the computer eventually, and if the first draft is all that matters, maybe writing directly to this blog is the way to go. All of it eventually will go on this blog, then accumulated in a separate file (WORD, I guess) and sent off the site. They start verifying word count on the 15th of the month, so you just unofficially keep it yourself until then. They give you an option on your personal profile to enter your own word count, so any time you post in a forum or something like that on the site they can see your word count. It is for encouragement, though discouragement is just as likely, I am sure. But I'll not think like that. Positive, positive, positive.


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