Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's November, which means the rustle of falling leaves, the whoosh of cold winds of winter, and the pounding of keyboards across the nation. National Novel Writing Month, in which participants are supposed to write 50,000 words, has its opponents and its advocates.

The opponents say (actually, it's more that they sneer) that: (1) Quality is what counts, not quantity, and no one can produce that much quality that fast. (2) Writing is a solo activity, not a hive-mind one, and giving the illusion that it is through website reporting of words and sharing of encouragement is a cruel illusion.

Advocate say: (1) A first draft may have quality issues, but it's something to work with, so get it down any way you can. (2) Any encouragement is good, and anyway the actual writing is still going on solo. (3) I'm teaching two NaNoWriMo workshops in Seattle, so don't discourage my potential audience!

Both workshops are ninety-minutes on "Writing Successful Fantastic Fiction." They are at libraries at the Richmond branch (Saturday, November 13) and Renton (Thursday night, November 18). The workshops are free, so I'm not sure where the money to pay me comes from, but it's through the libraries (your tax dollars at work?) At any rate, I'm looking forward to both of them. Anyone aiming for 50,000 words in a month is bound to be motivated.

Then the opponent says, "Isn't a workshop on writing-a-novel-in-a-month that comes halfway through the month a little late?"

To which I say, "Shut up. It's all good."


qiihoskeh said...

I wrote 582 words Nov. 1 and nothing since. Too bad I'm nowhere near Seattle.

EFKelley said...

Scalzi had a couple of points on NaNo as well:

Sort of wish I was in Seattle. Not that I'm NaNo-ing, but Nancy's classes are always excellent.

Unknown said...

On the library website, it looks like the workshop this Saturday is at the Richmond Beach branch, rather than the Shoreline branch?

Nancy Kress said...

You're right, Nicole. Must change that.

Oz said...

NaNo gets my ass in the chair, Nancy, my worstest problem. (well, maybe not.) :D I've gotten some great gonzo scenes shutting off my editor and my usual plodding style for the month of November. It plays with my process and when I 'won' last year, I was shocked that I had written that much (for short stories, true) in a single month.