Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Randy said so

November is National Novel Writing Month, which I find to be mildly obnoxious.

I think it's great if it lights a fire under someone who wants to write a novel so that they actually begin writing it. But I think anyone who believes they will finish a novel in 30 days is deluded.

Well, I thought that until I received a newsletter from fiction-writing guru Randy Ingermanson. I've subscribed to his newsletters since February, as he has some very good tips on writing books.

Here's what Randy says about NaNoWriMo:

"There are critics who'll tell you that, oh sure, you can drill out a crappy novel in 30 days, but it's impossible to write a good one in that length of time.

Sure, it's impossible if you believe it's impossible. But I know a fair number of published novelists who've written a novel in 30 days or less. Good novels -- ready to go to the publisher for editing. Some of these folks are New York Times best-selling authors. Others have won major awards.

If you can write a novel at all, you can write one in 30 days. If your skills aren't up to snuff yet, then
no, you can't write a good novel in 30 days. But if you have good craft, then yes, you can write an excellent novel in 30 days.

Either way, fire breeds fire, and fiction writing breeds fiction writing. If you take the NaNoWriMo
challenge and meet your goal, you're going to stretch yourself as a writer. You'll come out of it a better
and more confident writer."

First of all, I cannot write a novel in 30 days. That is all there is to it. I think anyone who writes a good novel in 30 days is a novel-writing savant. But, I do feel properly chastised by Randy, and will be focusing my attention a little harder on my novel to see if I can at least fulfill the word requirements for the remainder of November -- that's more than 23,000 words.

Which is a lot.

Goodbye forever.


  1. I don't know. I think Randy's full of crap.

    Though, I admit, I once wrote a horrid novel in a month. Unreadable. I couldn't make it through more than a few pages. And you know how I wrote the damn thing? I drank and drank until I woke up and realized I'd written another 3,000 words. I wanted to read back to see what I'd written, but the rules are No! Reading! Back!

    So I didn't. Then, the next night, I cracked another bottle of wine.

    Not so healthy. And it didn't work nearly as well for me as it did for Stephen King. Asshole.

  2. Anyone who thinks they can write a novel in 30 days, and have said novel be anything but a piece of crap should up their meds. Yeah, I mean you, Randy.

  3. Shhh...i'm not sharing this with many people, but I'm doing NaNoWriMo too. I'm up to 20,000 words, but unfortunately, my brain melted last night, so I don't think I'll be able to continue.