Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile DeCandido.net back back forward forward
why I hate "Why I Hate National Novel Writing Month" - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
why I hate "Why I Hate National Novel Writing Month"
A gentleman named Eric Rosenfield has posted an entry on the "Wet Asphalt" blog called "Why I Hate National Novel Writing Month, and Why You Should, Too."

Rosenfield rails against NaNoWriMo something fierce. Clicking on the above paragraph will allow you to read it all for yourself. Seeing as how I'm participating in NaNo this year -- partly to encourage one of the students at the school where I work part-time, who is also doing so, partly so I'll get my ass in gear on Goblin Precinct -- I obviously don't agree with Rosenfield's premise, but there's one line in particular that made it clear to me, at least, that he's missed the point:
As for National Novel Writing Month, they seem to care more about making you feel good than about anything having remotely to do with storytelling.

In fact, NaNo has nothing to do with storytelling whatsoever and it never has. NaNo isn't about storytelling, it's about professionalism.

If you want to become a pro writer, one of the most important components is to meet your deadlines. If you don't, you won't get more novel contracts, as book publishing tends to be on a schedule. In addition, you have to have the self-discipline necessary to put your butt in the chair and put one word in front of the other. If you don't finish it, you can't get it published in any form.

What NaNo does is encourage people to put that butt in that chair, to actually write instead of talking about writing. More wannabes than I can count talk about wanting to be a writer but never finding the time, as if time were something that rolled under the couch. One of the hardest things about being a pro writer is achieving the self-discipline necessary to finish what you start -- or dream about.

There are other exercises to help with your creativity. NaNo isn't about that, and to be depressed by its disconnect with storytelling is like being depressed that your chocolate chip cookie doesn't contain any pork chops.

(Thanks to Nick Minecci who drew my attention to this article on Twitter. This blog entry is an expansion of my two-tweet reply to Nick's query as to what I thought of the article.)

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Don't Crash the Ambulance" by Mark Knopfler

14 comments or Please comment
miintikwa From: miintikwa Date: November 2nd, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I haven't formally signed up to NaNo this year, but the haters always irked me. Though, my beef with them is more "don't crap all over something that encourages people" and less with the specifics.

And I think I'll sign up. I wrote 2K yesterday, I'd like to see how long I can keep that up. :)
kradical From: kradical Date: November 2nd, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ya velcome, and go for it! :)
dferguson From: dferguson Date: November 2nd, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well said, Keith.
kradical From: kradical Date: November 2nd, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
benmech From: benmech Date: November 2nd, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well said, as someone who does not himself participate, but surrounded himself globally with those who do.
kradical From: kradical Date: November 2nd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Danke. :)
benmech From: benmech Date: November 2nd, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
rainfletcher From: rainfletcher Date: November 2nd, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmmmm, pork chop cookies...
romulantbonz From: romulantbonz Date: November 2nd, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I attempted NaNoWriMo twice. The first time, I didn't pull it off. The second time, angry at myself for the previous failure, I was determined to do this.

And I did. It proved that one CAN write everyday and meet a goal (I think I had 1666 words a day to do, if memory serves). I also discovered that I can write more than a short story. That was a revelation to me. Yes, the book sucked ass, but it was my first attempt at a novel and I was pleased to know I could get there. Now all I have to do is practice.

The timing for NaNoWriMo sucks though. November is one of the busiest months of the year for me, with Christmas shopping (I do 90% of it in Nov), Christmas decorating (about 95% gets done right after Thanksgiving) and of course, Thanksgiving.

Why they can't do this in October, or March or July or some other month where not much is going on is beyond me.

Still - it's a worthwhile endeavor and I suggest that anyone seriously contemplating writing do this at least once.
khriskin From: khriskin Date: November 4th, 2011 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, as of this year they did hold a few sessions in the summer... I'm hoping they do it again next year too! :)

(Deleted comment)
mabfan From: mabfan Date: November 2nd, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
dianeb_047 From: dianeb_047 Date: November 3rd, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, indeed, well said.
Gettysburg7 From: Gettysburg7 Date: November 3rd, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks Keith!
14 comments or Please comment