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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Don't Knock Nanowrimo

Sci-fi author John Scalzi has a fine riposte to all those Nanowrimo haters. You can read it here:
"Nanowrimo and Kvetching"

I used to think that Nanowrimo was a a waste of expended time and effort (and I failed to make the word count last year...) but the be-all and end-all goal of November is not to generate a 50 000 word draft of a novel. It is more of an extended exercise in willpower and perhaps better as a group activity. I do not see anything wrong if Nanowrimo anchors the backsides of writers in their chairs and helps to instill a firm writing discipline for 30 days (and more ) after November has passed. If you make some friends along the way then I salute you - writing is lonely.

The haters and knockers also mention the amount of shit manuscripts that get sent to agents and editors after Nanowrimo because apparently, all Nanowrimo seems to do is encourage people who delude themselves into thinking they are writers, to churn out shit.

I'm a freelance fiction editor and I can safely say that shit manuscripts are sent in all the time, regardless of Nanowrimo. Alas, extra encouragement is not required if the deluded are going to generate shit anyway.

1 comment:

loveable_homebody said...

I hadn't considered one reason for this hate is that it may increase baaaad manuscript applications, but I bet you editors are used to that! Thanks for sharing your perspective as an editor! I see NaNoWriMo as an exercise in discipline, a way to challenge my urge to delete and edit because of insecurities: censoring myself, really, blocking ideas. I've written my two most recent blog entries about my thoughts on NaNoWriMo and how it has affected me as a writer (I tried to handwrite it... Ha ha)

Oh, I found you and this on Twitter. Isn't it magical?!

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