Here it is, Day 15 of National Novel Writing Month, when half of the novel in the challenge– 25,000 words– should be written by midnight tonight. I currently have just over 20,000 words counted, and this includes a narrative poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that I put into a letter from one of my characters to his love interest, even though the poem had little to do with their relationship, which had not yet been established anyway.
Such are the twists and turns of Nanowrimo.
At the moment I have two of my characters in modern day Austria, looking for Nazi treasures, and by that I mean statues or busts of Hitler, adoring portraits, icons, mementos, alleged bits of his hair or a ring he wore or a letter he wrote. These are all to be secured and permanently locked away or destroyed, so that they never fall into the hands of the European alt-right or neo-Nazis. They are attempting this task for the money– even immortal storybook characters need cash to indulge their adventures.
How do I make break and enter exciting? For some reason, possibly the plethora of such scenes already saturating fiction and television and film, I am at a loss as to how to make it fresh. So here I sit, stumped at 20k words, while thinking about honking.
In tribute to today’s Daily Prompt, honk, and its success in distracting me from the blank page of my Scrivener program, may I present two more of my tangentially related favourite cartoons?
What ever you are attempting this rainy Wednesday, may you find every success!
It is November 1, the first day of National Novel Writing Month, in which participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel, of any level of quality, in an effort to prove that it can be done.
My posts here are usually less than 500 words, so it is a true challenge to churn out 1600 words per day, especially since I have no detailed outline nor clear ideas about my protagonists. It will be a very long month.
One day I will write a mystery– I always think there is some kind of trick to a mystery novel that I can’t quite grasp. My problem could be that I have a terrible habit of writing as if I’m reading… I don’t like to spoil the experience (my experience!) with too much information. I irrationally don’t like spoilers, even when I am the author. So I avoid thinking too much about the details and even the resolution and ending, which makes novel-writing pretty impossible.
Nanowrimo is hard. I keep trying, because though I’ve always hit my 50k word count on time, and thus “win” the challenge, I have yet to produce a book that is readable, even in raw form. So onward I go.
The novel I am writing this year has six characters and unlimited settings. If I can’t find 30 stories for 30 days for the month of November, then maybe I should throw my pencil off the roof. Because I’m not throwing my Macbook Air off the damn roof.
Who the hell do you think you are? Or, more calmly, do you think you possess a reliable self-awareness, or are you kidding yourself?
How do we gauge our level of self awareness; how do we crack the code of what our “identity”— the fact of being who or what a person or thing is; self, selfhood, singularity, uniqueness— actually entails?
I think we all should be able to express our singularity in a western haiku poem. What, you are more complicated than that? No, you’re not. You have more similarities with the billions of other people in the world than you have differences. You like walking in the rain, Red Bull, sardines, Persian carpets? You loathe hypocrisy, mistrust the medical establishment, secretly love dogs more than people, admire those who don’t give a shit about what others think of them? Congratulations! You’re not unique.
English haiku is a three-line composition, broken down into 5-7-5 syllables, and featuring a lean, elegant style which often references nature or an unexpected juxtaposition of subjects (according to Wikipedia, if you need a source). But the western version is flexible, should anyone find the constraints too difficult.
Opaque surface pierced
By sunlight and forgiveness
Empty shell beneath.
That’s me after a five-minute attempt. I found it hard. Try it?
Meanwhile, cartoons about the topic and prompt identity are not abundant, though the first (and maybe second, least likely the third, but possible) of today’s selection of some of my favourite cartoons is tangentially so related:
Nanowrimo is coming soon, so off to prep. Happy week!
What day is it? Are we close to Nanowrimo? I’m not ready to write my 1600 words per day. This takes courage. I don’t have any!
As in, I’m not brave, which is the daily prompt.
Why am I scared of a laptop and a keyboard and a story half-formed in my head? There are killers and monsters of all kinds out there roaming the earth, most disguised as human beings. Every time we step outside our door we risk being struck by lightning, attacked by a vicious dog, being in the line of fire when our neighbour cleans his rifle, looking up to see a nuclear warhead directed towards our front porch, or, sure, getting hit by a runaway bus. Yet I am ‘asceered’ of a number (albeit a large number) of words.
I forgot to mention other perils when we set forth into the world, which include failure, falling on our face, trailing toilet paper under our shoe, tucking our skirt into our undies, getting publicly caught in a lie, losing an ethical battle, being unable to pick up the fragments of our shattered lives and… well, you get the picture.
National Novel Writing Month challenges us to face failure– and win, or at least die trying. Not die exactly, but expend as much toil and angst as if he had written the full complement of 50,000 words. Which, they tell us, is an accomplishment, too!
Sure it is. Fine.
But I am a competitive person. Not with you, your him, or them, but with myself. It’s how I quit smoking! It’s how I managed to ‘win’ all previous Nanos. A better word might be stubborn. And, I love the couple of days after completing the challenge, when family and friends are so damn proud, even though they have not yet seen a word I’ve written and are taking my achievement on faith.
So to lessen the anxiety of the swiftly approaching November 1st, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, precisely none of which relate to today’s word prompt:
Have a happy, productive, courageous week.
You know, Nanowrimo is swiftly approaching. This is an event in which writers and would-be writers are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It can be done! This is my fifth or sixth year. I’ve always submitted the required wordage, and a book of sorts, but to the dismay of family and friends, never a novel I would readily share.
I’m hoping this year will be an exceptional year. My premise for the novel is based on a dream, but as I play with the concept I see there might possibly be a book in there, somewhere.
What is this premise? That there are a group of people called the Immortals, because they simply cannot die. When they are “killed” they retreat to a cave, from which they go forth again. My story germ revolves about a group of six “immortals”, of varying ages, who join together to enjoy adventures with no thought of being heroes or changing the world or doing anything actually positive. They’ve found themselves in a fantasy cum horror story, and decide not to play along.
They are kind of selfish.
So the story arc possibilities are quite prolific, and so I might start with my immortals come November 1, even though sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult fiction are not exactly my wheelhouse genres.
So I might play with this concept here on the blog, too, so please indulge me.
Meanwhile, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is tangentially related to the Daily Prompt, “exceptional”:
Have a happy Thursday (and Friday. And oh hell, Saturday too.)