Wednesday, 1 December 2010

NaNoWriMo - is it evil?

I just wrote a novel in 30 days. To be more specific, I wrote 94,232 words in 30 days. That's not as many as I wrote last year - something closer to 114,000 in 20 days, and then another 20k by the end of November (on the sequel). Still, 94k isn't too bad.

What did I write? Surely it was absolute crap. Surely it wasn't worth reading.

Surely I feel sorry for my friends who asked to read it and whose requests were obliged. Ha.

Well, to be honest, I think the writing was around about average. It could be better (and will be, with all the editing it'll undergo), but it could also be a lot worse. I had a great idea, not a new idea to be sure, but a great one, and I managed to finish the story, a story that has been buzzing around annoying me for probably close to a decade. Well, maybe longer than a decade.

There are a lot of criticisms out there about National Novel Writing Month and how it supposedly demeans "real" writers. My question to those offended "real" writers is...why do you care so much if people are making a mockery out of your profession? How is NaNoWriMo damaging you, unless you're just feeling threatened.

It may be true that a lot of NaNoWriMo novels are absolute crap, but so are a lot of other novels that get published. I've read some of the suckiest. Not naming names. Or titles.

Anyway, the original question I asked was: is NaNoWriMo evil? And my answer? I don't think!

I think stifling creativity is evil!


  1. This is such a strange criticism to make of NaNoWriMo. One doesn't often hear professional musicians complaining about amateurs and hobbyists "demeaning" or "offending" them. People play for fun. In groups, even! And being able to play an instrument yourself (even if you're not that good at it) does help you appreciate the skill of others who ARE that good. It just makes the complaining authors sound insecure.

    P.S. Grats on winning NaNo! :)

  2. I agree with you. And even though I'm serious about writing and sometimes cringe when thinking about NaNoWriMo's 'the quantity, not the quality!' slogan, I still think if not else, it's a great excercise. A creative exercise AND a challenge and it only helps me improve as a writer.

    So yeah, ambivalent feelings, but in the end, it only depends on what *you* created.

    And I've already said that on my blog, but congrats, again :D

  3. Thanks guys - congrats to you guys too for your wins! :)

    @Taisch, couldn't agree more! :)

    @Tika - yeah, the quantity not quality thing is not good in the long run when you're wanting to submit, but of course early on when you're just wanting to get something done, I think NaNo is the perfect opportunity. That's what I love about it! It gives me the chance to REALLY get motivated to write a huge chunk (and hopefully a complete manuscript) which I can go back & work on later.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I've never participated in NaNo but I think I will next year. I don't know why people feel threatened by it, if anything it's an excellent writing exercise like Tika mentioned and a good way to finally force yourself to get out on paper something you may have been putting off for months maybe even years.

  5. "I think stifling creativity is evil!" Amen, Trisha. A-MEN!!!

    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!
    Some Dark Romantic

  6. You're first post was in a blogfest! How fitting that you were hopping around from blog to blog, writing your first post after you completed a crazy month of writing. Very you-- although I would say that you're style comes through more now I think.

  7. Congrat's on your NANO win! I'm visiting via the resurrection blog fest, and because you made runner up. I'm almost there, with NANO, taking my time just to get to 50,000 but sure I'll go over it too. I've found a real inspiration this year from NANO, and the goal itself. Finding you can write 50,000 words plus -- makes one wonder why I don't do it more often, although getting the rewrite done will take much, much longer. Just the knowledge that sitting down and letting it flow can really get you a finished project -- the creativity builds on itself, the plot lines twist and turn and yet still get you to the finish. Love it!

  8. I think stifling creativity is evil too. I love doing NaNo. I just couldn't do it this year as I had other things come up. Terrific post!


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!