Possibly a bad idea

I didn’t feel like looking for the official Nanowrimo icon for 2008, so I’ve inserted a magician’s assistant.

Life is a series of compromises.

Reasons to be pessimistic about Nanowrimo, for which I have registered but cannot recall my login info:

  • no plot, characters, genre, or other details in mind
  • leaked way too much mojo last time
  • it’s kind of a silly thing to do

Reasons to be optimistic about doing it:

  • it’s all in good fun
  • it will make me look busy at work
  • I will think of something
  • when it’s over, you have a manuscript of some sort

Sometimes when I write, it’s this sort of automatic writing thing, where all I need is a blank page and a relaxed mind, or maybe a word or two or three, and the story writes itself, or I just write down what the characters say, but often a real straitjacket of strict rules helps.

In case I find myself in the latter situation, you are cordially invited to contribute rules of your design in the comments, which I do not promise to, but might, apply, and for which I would be grateful.

8 responses to “Possibly a bad idea

  1. Paul

    I think a key, to be topical, is to have at least one chapter titled “Team of Mavericks” or perhaps “Palling around with terrorists”. Well it would be topical if you were in th U.S. But still they have a nice ring to them. I think they are the best meme’s that this U.S. Presidential campaign has come up with. Kind of a sad sign that all the best memes turn out to be humorous, I think the loony who used them meant to be serious, but come on, I think “Team of Mavericks” is pretty much an oxymoronic phrase. And “Palling around” and “Terrorists” are two phrases that a serious person wouldn’t put in the same sentence.

    Anyway, bonus points if you make a chapter combining both phrases.

  2. I can’t believe you’re doing it. You’re really doing it? And Sue is doing it, and I am doing it… this is not a 70’s disco song, it is the real thing. DO IT! Something like the (three?) horsemen of the (NaNo) apocalypse.

    I dream big.

  3. mig

    dang, the assistant is all gray. really ought to learn how to work the macbook someday.

    sure, paul, i can work in anything. i’ve long been interested in the arbitrary rule thing, ever since reading about them guys over at oulipo, and so on, and the whole hyperfiction thing, but also, in the paid writing i do, i have generally found that the tighter the truss, the easier the inspiration flows, so to speak.

    ja, bran, well, we’ll see how this works i guess. good luck to you and sue, and anyone else trying this. i am drawing a complete blank this year. some general vague impressions is all. oh, and, but, last night before i fell asleep an entire scene came to me. it involved ghosts. it’s that time of year, i guess.

    also, when all else fails, there is automatic writing, and refrigerator magnet poetry, and splatting coffee onto your journal and turning the blots into images (which i did this morning, creating new events, objects and characters, yay).

  4. sue

    This is not the Sue who is doing it–writing, that is.

    I’ll leave that to YD.

  5. Tim

    Those poems are amazing! You could do some interesting things with dialogue, like characters must speak only in statements, not questions. Or restrictions on who speaks to whom: characters only speak to people who are older than them, or perhaps have the book centred around a relationship between two people but never quote a direct conversation between them. Or for something more straightforwardly grammatical, no abstract nouns. That’d be tough.

  6. mig

    well, i commenced on this nanowrimo adventure a couple hours ago. i have already tried dialogue restriction #1, characters speak only to people older than them, which turns out to be quite challenging since one of the main characters is older than most of the other characters.
    Also looking into the abstract nouns. thank you for the cool suggestions.

  7. Sue

    This *is* the Sue who is doing it, and I am doing it, baby. You should do it too. I see you are. Hurrah.