Monday, December 1, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008

I just finished National Novel Writing Month (hereby NaNoWriMo, because nonsensical acronyms are better than typing four whole words) 2008. The goal of NaNoWriMo ( is for each author who signs up to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

This would have been a lot more fun if I was home in the states (or anywhere civilized, really) since there is a big social component to NaNoWriMo. You can get together with other writers to talk about your writing and write together… supposedly this boosts productivity, which I find hard to imagine (given a choice between talking and writing, or talking and anything, really, I always choose talking). But it certainly is fun.

Nonetheless, I am now a proud NaNo finisher. Not a novel finisher, though. 50,000 words is more a novella than a novel itself – not that anyone with a dayjob is likely to write more than that in a month. The novel I finished at the end of October weighed in around 120K at draft completion, and since the new novel is a fantasy, it’s apt to be a bit more verbose. We all know how fantasy writers are… never write one book when you can write three. Or seven. Or fourteen.

I’m not saying it isn’t smart, but it annoys me as a reader. I generally avoid fantasy epics for just that reason. My attention span is not long enough to wait for my lasagna to microwave, it is certainly not long enough to wait four years to find out what happened next to our intrepid heroes, who never seem to get any closer to completing their mission no matter how many cliffhanger endings they survive.

I just realized, I am the grinch of the fantasy epic.

Anyway, one last note on NaNoWriMo. I was interviewed by the lovely Diane Bock from WriMo Radio for their series of podcasts. You can hear me (sounding both younger and dumber than I think I sound in real life, it must be a trick of the radio…) at this link:
Guin's NaNo Interview
Here I talk about what it’s like to novel in Baghdad, in the great nation of Iraq. I especially like the part where I say deployment means living in a "frat house environment", hopefully my male co-workers do not take that personally. Actually, I hope they just never hear it. I would also prefer they not hear the part where I confessed to writing at work sometimes about "werewolves and warrior princesses" (really a gross simplification... but accurate in its own right).

So, that is it for the day… I finished NaNo yesterday, I took today off from writing (a rare thing for me, I figured if I don’t take time off, I don’t have the chance to remember how much I like not writing). Given that I just finished this semester of school (also yesterday), today was my first time in a long time with nothing to procrastinate on. I realized today that many things (shopping on Amazon for things I don't need, reading other people's blogs, cleaning - a sure sign of a task I am reluctant to start) are not nearly as much fun without something else I should be doing.

Tomorrow I begin the editing process on the novel finished in October… check back tomorrow, as I write more about writing (my most brilliant form of procrastination yet).

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