NaNoThankYou

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On this day, December 1st, thousands of writers across the globe are mopping their brows, nursing their keyboard-burnt fingers, and collapsing into piles of first draft pages. That’s right – NaNoWriMo is complete. Three cheers to all those who faced the challenge!

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to write as close to 50,000 words as you can between November 1st and 30th.

I personally didn’t participate, but I got asked a lot if I was, so I thought I’d write a post explaining why. This isn’t to knock the NaNo’ers, just to provide my own perspective.

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Literary classism

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One time I wrote a piece inspired by David Foster Wallace. It was unconventional, not really a narrative, hard to classify. I didn’t think it was genius or anything, but I enjoyed it. I got some scathing criticism from an individual who focused very much on the rules it was breaking. When I mentioned that I was learning from DFW’s example, the critiquer said, “Yeah, well, you’re not DFW.”

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A book survey!

I was tagged by the wonderful Caroline Peckham! This was so fun that I expanded it with a few more questions from other surveys on her blog, because I can’t get enough talking about books. 😀

Find a book on your shelves for each of your initials.
book initialsSNB. All three of these are amazing novels, particularly the middle one.

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In case of zombies, learn karate

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“So is this a loony bin or something?”

Kryss (short for Crystal but DON’T EVER CALL HER THAT) is milling around my hospital bed in an oversized sweatshirt and strategically ripped jeans, a skull-and-crossbones clip holding her bangs. She’s here under duress with orders from the principal to deliver my assignments. Her bored eyes stare at me from above the pink, stretched, pregnant-belly flesh of a bubble gum bubble.

“Nah, just a regular hospital,” I reply.

The bubble pops. Smack smack. Her low, monotone drawl: “Um… But there’s like… posters of brains all over the place.”

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More rules you can occasionally break

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Last week I talked about how you don’t have to write every day, and before that, how you can write slow if you want. Let’s rebel against some more rules! (Occasionally.)

Eugh… “Rules.” Just the word makes me think of similarly off-putting things, like peas or gym class or t-shirt armpits yellowed by old sweat stains. I prefer the more pleasing word “guidelines.” Ahh, that’s better – like a cheerful garden path leading you towards better writing. Or that wise old word “advice,” with its wizard beard and smell of vintage paper. And let’s not forget that perky lil word, “tips!”

Rules are smart, but no rule/guideline/advice/tip is an ironclad absolute.

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You really DON’T have to write every day.

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Two weeks ago I discussed writing slow,  a process often touted against but which I believe has merit. I decided to continue that theme with a post about other rules you can safely ignore.

There are important rules in writing, of course. Lots of rules are well-founded and should definitely be followed. What I don’t support is the attitude some authors have about these Rules with Capital R’s, the ones they shout from their desk with a zealously pointed index finger. “YOU. BAD AUTHOR. YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.”

Let’s start with the one I see pushed most aggressively: Write every day.

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My second publication – Fingers – is officially out!

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Fingers is the harrowing tale of a teddy bear, a polka-dotted pig, a slimy-handed human, and the 25 cents that could upend everything. Now up at the awesome Jersey Devil Press!

If you feel like giving it a read, I will hug you forever. Not literally of course. I’ll hug you with my heart. Also not literally. I need that for mah bludz and such. Anyway you get what I mean. ❤

I write slow, and I’m okay with that

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I’m a slow writer. I’m so slow that I actually forced a 30-minute time limit on this entry because otherwise I’d take too much time away from my other projects, musingly tapping my pencil on my chin for ages. Actually I’m typing this on my laptop, but the pencil thing was a nice visual effect, yeah? If I actually hand-wrote these things it’d be take me double-ages. Triple-ages! But I’m getting off track.

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The agent hunt

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If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have gathered that I’m querying agents. If you’re new round these parts, then, uh, I’m super successful! I’ve sold millions! Oh, you’ve never heard of me? I’m big in Japan.

Anyway, I’m querying agents, and I thought I’d talk a little about how I do my research in case it helps anyone who’s starting this for the first time. Not that I really know what I’m doing… Uh, I mean, I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!

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