Thursday, November 03, 2005

Novel writing sucks

For those blissfully unaware of it, November is National Novel Writing Month. The premise is fairly straight forward...people always says they want to write a book. How hard can it be? But they can never find the time or some other excuse. The site's goal is to get you to write 50,000 words for the month. That's about 1,600 words a day. It won't give you a long novel by any stretch, but it would be a start.

They also don't care if it's good. You're not suppose to go back and fix it and make it better. Just crank out the 50,000 words to show you can do it.

The site came to my attention last year when a friend of mine dared me to do the challenge with her. We both failed. For my part, I blame being a working journalist at the time and that at the end of the day I didn't feel like going home and spending an hour or two writing a book.

It baffles me why so many people think I should write a book. I think I'm a not bad writer. I always enjoyed writing my columns with either The Express or The Packet. And I am a superior ranter when the blood gets going.

But none of this is the same as writing a book. Writing a novel means coming up with a plot, developing characters, establishing setting, themes, building suspense and a hundred other things all of while telling it with an engaging writing style. It's not just flexing different mental muscles...it's flexing mental muscles I don't know that I have.

Still, the badgering continues, mostly from three sources. So I was going to try again this year. Really. Honestly. But apparently the prolonged unemployment is turning my brain to mush (Cathy has said as much). Plus, y'know, the Sentinels have been attacking New York in X-Men: Legends (great game, by the way) so that's been taking up time.

But I am going to try again today. I have an idea. I scrapped the story about a townie journalist moving to rural Newfoundland and having weird adventures because it wasn't jelling right. Instead, it's the funny story of a Newfoundland vampire which asks the question, if you're a true Newfoundlander who also happens to be undead, shouldn't you do the right thing and stop feasting on the diminishing stock of young Newfoundlanders and move to Mainland instead?

Why? Because vampires kill people. And while I can't kill the three nuisances who badger me on writing a book because it is A Bad Thing, I can kill them in my book. Gruesomely.

So yeah, there are a few perks to being a writer.

Last 5 on iPod
1. Bates milk bar - Mo Berg (Summer's over)
2. Find somebody to love - Queen (Great Hits)
3. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac (Greatest Hits)
4. The sweetest thing - U2 (Greatest Hits:1990-2000)
5. Space dog - Tori Amos (To Venus and Back)

5 comments:

His Nibs said...

Since I want to be offed in your novel, I hereby pester you to write one. Really.
Sure, writing is hard. Sure it's different from writing news. But those are just lazy excuses! (Gruesomely, remember. Gruesomely.)
All the writing skills you have are adapatable. You can even make it easier on yourself; break the novel up into smalller chunks that lend themselves to your journalistic writing style. As long as it doesn't end up "Interview with a Blood Sucking Baywop".
Unleash the hounds!

towniebastard said...

Sorry, but I think I'm going to restrict it to three friend deaths in this book. However, there is always the next book. Because God forbid there should ever just be one vampire novel. No, it must be at least a trilogy. Or some epic, never-ending series, like what Laurel K. Hamilton writes.

I read the first two of her books, thought they were tripe and gave up. Cathy picked them up and has been going great guns ever since. She loves them.

I think that's my problem with vampire novels. So many of them are utterly, unredemingly bad.

His Nibs said...

Ahh, an Insulting Friends Triptych. Keen.

dups said...

And Craig, the gauntlet has been thrown... I challenge you to writing a novel. I'm starting mine, heck I already have. I'll be posting about it on my site, but nothing on the actual plot or story... so come on (and yes I know I will be one of the first to die in your novel).

dups said...

Oh and I think I will actually flesh out the old "Shaft on the Rock" movie and turn it into a radio play and offer it up on the site ;)