Perhaps I should clarify.
Some of us go mad when it comes to a certain writing challenge that annually takes place during this month. (Not to slight other folks who go mad for other reasons which may or may not be any of our business, depending on the salaciousness of the driving factor and whether or not we might be considered key witnesses in the court case that may or may not ensue.)
I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month. (Or “NaNoWriMo”, if you want to break it down to street-lingo level.) And yes, I realize that many of my beloved guests here at Bonnywood couldn’t give less of a hoot about NaNoWriMo and you are already checking your NetFlix queue to see if anything new has appeared, convinced that this post is going nowhere you wish to tread. Stay with me a bit, as there’s a challenge further down in this rambling mess that just might convince you to hold off on binge-watching the seventh season of “Game of Hormones”. At least temporarily.
NaNoWriMo is a lovely communal adventure wherein valiant participants attempt to write 50,000 words for a current “work-in-progress” in 30 days. If you’re not familiar with word-counts, this is a big-ass investment, requiring an average of roughly 1,700 words a day. (A typical blog post is 500 words or less, if that helps you visualize the effort. And an average novel is 150,000 words, so you are basically writing a third of a book in a month.)
Please forgive the preceding paragraph for being completely humorless and full of statistics. I try to avoid such things at Bonnywood, but they occasionally slip through my Gauntlet of Control. I will try my best not to sin in such a manner again, but there are times when I am weak and unwashed and unworthy of redemption. Then I put on another pot of coffee and all is well.
Naturally, this rapid pace of word-scribbling is not going to produce your finest work. There’s no time for editing; you have to keep moving or you will never meet the goal. And that’s the real value of this challenge for me, in that the blinders of grammar accuracy and thematic coherence and, well, any degree of professionalism has to be removed or you will not cross the finish line.
And yet, when your mind is unshackled and you truly ride your stream of consciousness, some amazing things can happen. Ideas explode and leave fragmented jewels for you to pick up at a later time and flesh them into something better. When you ignore the protocols, the creativity can burn brightly.
So, I’m doing NaNoWriMo once more. I need some burning jewels to light my way and get me back on the path of book-publishing and not just blog-posting, despite how much I relish the latter.
For this year’s mad run, I’m focusing on a short-story collection, tentatively titled “Peppered Fruit”. I plan to extensively rework some things I’ve already written, but I mostly want to cultivate new bits and pieces. And this, dear reader, is where you come into the picture.
What are your favorite stories here at Bonnywood?
Which themes do you most enjoy?
Where would you like me to dig deeper?
And, perhaps most importantly, what bits should I avoid?
Feel free to speak your mind, as it should be obvious by now that I don’t have any problem speaking mine.
P.S. Despite participating in this challenge, I still plan to unleash as many fresh (and recycled, let’s be fair) posts that I can during November. Those of you who have been with me for a while know that this month can lead to some really quirky posts.
P.P.S If you are a fellow NaNoWriMo participant or considering such, hook up with me so we can help each other get through the mess. https://nanowrimo.org/participants/brian-lageose
P.P.P.S. If you’re an American, please vote on November 6th, if you haven’t already done so.
Categories: Work In Progress