October 31, 2014

Horse 1787 - Writing A Novel Again (NaNoWriMo)

The word "journey" bothers me. When you hear people on a reality TV show, they'll often say that the reason why they wanted to go on said show is that they're "on a journey", whatever the heck that means. This ignores the more obvious and gauche fact that they're probably really going on the show to win fame and or possibly fortune.
Let's be perfectly honest here, fame and fortune are probably the real reasons why a lot of people want to go into televised talent competitions; not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that because it beats standing around on a retail counter all day long.

But think for a second of the people who go into the arts, like music, painting, writing, sculpture who will never achieve fame and fortune. What drives them? I suspect that it has more to do with the act of creating something; the very act of playing music, putting brush to canvas or chisel to marble, or wrangling words together so that they form some sort of vaguely coherent order.
For this reason, I'm doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again.

As I said last year in Horse 1579 when I'd come to the end of it, I found that writing a novel was an "entirely unrewarding experience" because I already knew how the story was going to end before I'd finished it. As someone who writes a lot but also reads a lot more, having the ending of the novel spoiled before you've finished it, isn't particularly fun and yet, having gone through the process once, I now know what to expect.
So why do it again, if I didn't like it? Because like musicians, painters and sculptors, I like to write.

On the train heading forth and back across this unwieldy city, I have a lot of time to waste. I can spend that time reading, writing or on those glorious afternoons where the golden rays of the spring and summer sun stream in through the train's windows, I can spend that time sleeping. Whilst everyone else is tapping away, I'll be there furiously scribbling away or daydreaming so that I can continue to scribble away.

Bleeding Gums Murphy taught Lisa Simpson that "music is like a fire in your belly that comes out of your mouth, so you'd better stick an instrument in front of it".  The instrument with which I am most proficient at is a home stereo - I can play that one really well (it even has a helpful button marked "play"). Music is not something that I do well. I can draw comics a bit but they're more the means to an end.
The instrument that I play the best on, is either the ball point pen and exercise book or the US 104 keyboard. From these two places, ideas and thoughts get bashed and work hardened until they form sentences and paragraphs. Look! This is a sentence, just now. This is another. This sentence closes off a paragraph.
If you jam enough words, sentences and paragraphs together, eventually you get something resembling a story. Make it long enough and you have a novel. For someone who has generation more than 2 million words and brought them to heel; so that they form some sort of order, 50,000 words in a month is easy.

Deep down, that's why I'm doing NaNoWriMo again. That fire in my belly wants to come out somewhere and in this case, the instrument I'm sticking in front of it, is a keyboard. Hopefully on 30th November, I'll have something to show for it. 

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