Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Only 1,667 Words A Day

So if you've got a little spare time in
November, and you're looking for something
to do...why not write a novel in a month?
Never even considered it, you say?
Well one brave and creative soul,
along with 20 of his closest friends,
attempted it in 1999,
and six of the
21 finished.
NaNoWriMo was born.
(I've got a link to it
on my sidebar.)

The idea is to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. Art for art's sake. Participants are free to write the crappiest crappity-crap in the world and still come away with a feeling of accomplishment.

Chris Baty of Oakland is the creator of the contest. And with the help of his Web site, it's exploded year by year into a global effort to write bad prose. Last year, 59,000 people participated, and nearly 10,000 people crossed the finish line.

The quantity-over-quality mantra serves as a boost to get writers' butts in their chairs, with the notion that somewhere in the middle of the bad punctuation and run-on sentences and muck, one might find the proverbial diamond in the rough.

Some people fizzle out after a few hundred words. I've made it to several thousand a couple times before deciding there wasn't enough November left to finish. But I applaud what he started, and enjoy following its progress each year. Perhaps one day I'll hunker down and take it more seriously. (just so I can cross "hunkering" off of my list Of Things To Do In Life.)

Several WriMos have opted to write something a bit better than crap, and they were rewarded with book deals!

If you're intrigued by the idea, and your November calendar is free, go poke around the site and learn more about it. Then spend the next month and a half polishing your plot points and scheduling your December carpal tunnel surgery.

And at 12:00:01 a.m. on November 1...WRITE!

"Mine started out as an
evil-people-take-over-the-world thing...
and is now essentially
a marching band story."
—Anonymous WriMo from 2002

1 comment:

  1. I have a friend who tried this a year ago. I think he made it around 10 days. 1667 words really isn't that tough for people who blog a lot. I looked at one of my own blog entries from Friday, and estimated it to be around 1400 words. And seeing as I did more than one entry, I easily surpassed that total.

    But damn, to keep up that pace and write a coherent story for 30 days might be tough.