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Sprinting my way through a marathon

NaNoWriMo is, once again, kicking my ass, and I am now 5,000 words behind where I should be. Cue tears of panic.

Then I recall that today is the first day of Fall Break, and besides work my only scheduled obligation is roaming through the house in my pajamas and fluffy slippers, munching on a lemon cream cheese tartelette and playing video games. Glorious. Time for a word sprint!

:: word sprint \pronouncation: effffff\: n. 1. an allocated period of time in which an individual attempts to make up a nauseating amount of words in NaNoWriMo by furiously hashing away at his/her keyboard like Shakespeare’s monkey. “Goodness, I’m so behind in my novel I better have a good word sprint tonight” 2. a mad mental dash to the writing goal finish line immediately followed by a stiff drink and/or period of comatose. “Boy I sure hope this word sprint comes with scotch.” 3. v. a cruel method of torture used by the ancient Greeks to punish young children that didn’t use proper grammar. “You’re going to word sprint today or it’s the end of your life as you know it!

Overall, a grand old time. However, there is a bit of an issue. Let us display the problem with a fitting image.

As exciting as it is to finish up a “novel” and gripe with fellow writing peers, it’s always a bit of an uncomfortable experience to spew out on paper what really goes on in your mind. Maybe it’s not a direct verbalization of your innermost thoughts, and it might not even be the darkest of desires and secrets.

But it’s you. Every word that is typed/jotted/scribbled/scratched out is something that comes from the dusty mess upstairs, and once you put two and two together it doesn’t always turn out pretty. Often times, it’s downright disturbing. By living vicariously through your characters in the world that you’ve created, at the end of the day there’s a whole lot of space in between the lines, and it’s all full of you.

And truthfully, it’s not all that flattering.

It’s like looking at those mirrors specifically designed to magnify your pores. Have you ever seen yourself in one of those? You think that your skin is creamy clear and baby butt soft, but one look at those concave mirrors has you running for the hills. Might as well scream Bloody Mary in the bathroom at night to bring out the deformed and twisted reflection you didn’t even know existed.

Of course it’s not all that bad. Writing brings out the whimsy in me that my not-five-year-old-self has forgotten. It allows me to twist and adjust parts of this world into something coherent and understandable, rather than overwhelming and jumbled. There are heroes and living myths and magic and triumphs for the good and honorable who beat down the evil doers and monsters.

Slightly jarring though, when the monster turns out to be part of you.

Ah well. C’est la vie. Time for a matcha latte and more sprinting!

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Winner!

Just verified my 50,000+ words on NaNoWriMo and feeling a sense of accomplishment that should not be this bloated considering that I did not physically win anything. I did, however, get this spiffy image:

Isn’t that spiffy?

Funny thing is, my novel isn’t finished. At most I would say it’s 60% complete. So this accomplishment is even less valuable seeing as how nothing actually got finished except reaching some arbitrary number the rulers at The Office of Letters and Light (yeah, that’s really what it’s called) chose on some cold frosty morning.

And yet I feel just awesome about it. That’s right, awesome. Because ever since I was a kid I wanted to write a novel, and yet I only dabbled in temporary fanfiction and poetry because a novel was just so damn intimidating. Have you seen novels? They have hundreds of pages and thousands upon thousands of words! Who wouldn’t be afraid of trying to start that monster?

NaNoWriMo, with its utter lack of physical prizes, official acknowledgement, or publication, has done more for the writer in me than my numerous years as an amateur writer could ever have. I don’t know what it was that excited me so much. The pep talks? The write-ins (that I never went to)? The chance to meet other writers in the area? No, none of those really held much for me; I never took a liking to pep talks, social gatherings are a pain, and who wants to sit around with a bunch of strangers talking about their own books?`

Somehow, in some strange, magical fashion, the purpose of this month struck a chord in me without any external factors and drove me to furiously hash out word after word, page after page, until I reached that simple number. I look at the over 100 pages of writing I’ve accomplished and now a novel doesn’t feel so daunting. Hell, the first Harry Potter book was only 76,940 words. I am so almost there!

Sure, I have massive editing to do and probably need to cut out a few unnecessary characters and twist the plot around a little… but that’s for later. For now, I gloat in taking down a beast I thought I could never master. Cry uncle, ya blasted demon!

Not to mention I just stumbled upon the application FocusWriter: why fate has so cruelly shown me this wonderful word processor at the *end* of NaNoWriMo baffles me, but at least now I have an awesome application for my future novels. One of which I’ve… already started.. ^^;;

See you at next year’s NaNoWriMo! I will definitely be participating again in order to get my spiffy little winner icon.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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NaNoWriMo!

Or the I’m-such-a-dork-and-tricked-myself-into-believing-I-can-accomplish-this-event (aka: National Novel Writing Month). Basically for the month of November I will be participating in this wonderful event where I furiously hash away a 50,000 word or longer NOVEL.

That’s right, a novel. The brainchild that every amateur writer wants to to achieve at least once in their lifetime, the tangible goal of all fanfiction authors and blogging maniacs. It won’t be bound or published or even printed, but the ridiculous word count and hearty pat on the back by ourselves and our NaNoWriMo community and regional celebrations will make the madness and caffeine rushes worth it. Or at least, that’s the hope.

Apparently if you do the math correctly (psh.. math) the standard participant should try to write about 1,667 words per day. Assuming that you celebrate Thanksgiving/Food Coma day, this should be a bit higher in the beginning to make up for the holiday as well as the unavoidable days of laziness and/or writer’s block.

Stealing the words directly from the site, “Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing.” And I intend to write a ton of crap, 50,000 words worth of crap, even. It will be craptacular. Let’s get started!

<Want to join? –>>>> http://www.nanowrimo.org>

UPDATE: Woohoo! Widget to keep track of my word count on the right –> awesome.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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