September 16th, 2009

View from study (sunny)

Why NaNoWriMo is not for me

I always get a slight urge to have a go at NaNoWriMo around this time of year when numerous online friends start burbling happily about their projects and the social aspects of the challenge, but it's really not a good time of year workwise. All being well I should get my next batches of students at the end of October ready for a November start. I have applied for another tutoring job and if I don't get that, I'll be making a start on getting my business idea up and running.

But it's actually more basic than that. Even if NaNoWriMo was at a more suitable time, it wouldn't be any good for me. Though I have occasionally produced bursts of up to 2500 words, I can't maintain an average of 1667 for a month. What I can do, however, is 750 words for three months, so while everyone is merrily NaNoing, I'm going to commit to another round of novel_in_90 and finish the damn novel about the war in Baradel.

So, my first self-imposed challenge is to have a complete, more or less coherent first draft finished by 12/12/09. I will have to write short stories, scripts and poetry for the Advanced Creative Writing course, but come what may, I must keep up an average of 750 words of first draft. It doesn't matter if it's shitty first draft, as long as it's a draft.

I've finally decided that I don't care any more whether it's saleable. Enough friends have expressed an interest in the story that it's worth finishing, and besides, I feel a sort of obligation to my characters to tell their story once and for all[*], so I'll web it when complete. I know the whole Baradel cycle isn't really the sort of thing that's selling now, but it will be quite an achievement to finish it to what I hope will be a publishable standard, even if it's never published traditionally. For one thing it will teach me a lot about novel structure and carrying a story arc over multiple volumes whilst also making each volume stand alone. And besides, who knows? Webbing a novel isn't the death knell that it was once thought. Jon Evans (rezendi) has sold his squirrels in New York story, albeit to a small press, but it's been on the web for a year or so and that wasn't considered a problem.

[*] No, I'm not bonkers. I know they're not really real people, even though it does feel like that at times! :)
  • Current Mood
    determined determined