Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nanowrimo

If you've never heard of Nanowrimo, I wouldn't be surprised. I hadn't heard of it either before some friends mentioned it to me last fall, just as National Novel Writing Month (November 1-30) was about to begin. A couple of those friends participated, George producing 50,000 words that he thinks sort of cohere, Bart producing ones that he doesn't think do.

Well, Bart and George are gearing up to participate again, and they've got me to thinking about doing so as well. My first thought was what a drag it would be. I wrote a 60,000 word novel in one hundred days in 1974 (following Dick Perry's prescription in One Way to Write Your Novel, Writer's Digest, 1969), so I know the discipline it takes. I didn't like to contemplate the fact that my daily blogging would surely suffer.

But then something occurred to me.

At lunch with Bart and George, I happened to mention my writing hero when it comes to producing a novel very quickly. Georges Simenon wrote several hundred novels, in fact, and he rarely spent more than two weeks on one. He even wrote one while sitting at his typewriter behind a Paris storefront window.

Right...what I'm thinking about doing is writing my daily two thousand words and posting them on Moristotle. A way of emulating my hero. Ha! Fat chance of that. I've read a few score of his novels and each one is a gem. Simenon could not only write fast, he also had the genius to do it brilliantly. Nevertheless, the idea of pretending that my daily post takes place in a storefront window appeals to me a lot.

I discovered this week that "post-modernist" seems to apply to me. I've long enjoyed self-referentiality, not only in logical argument having to do with "God" (as illustrated in a number of my posts back two or three months ago), but also in fiction writing. I'm thinking along the lines of a "real-time" story in which the daily act of writing plays a crucial role in the plot. In three days of thinking I've already realized that I can pretend I'm writing on a laptop (I've never owned one) and thus travel to whatever fictional location the story leads me to (or wherever I lead the story).

Damn, it's fun. And if I'm actually going to do it in a storefront window, I might as well get the feel of gearing up in public too....

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