Posts Tagged: NaNoWriMo
3

My Burned-Out New York Apocalypse Novel

National Novel Writing Month comes to an end tonight—at midnight! But our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished will carry on. Here's the next entry.

Where are all my End of the World Party invitations? The characters in the novel I never finished—the promotion for which I foresaw myself being very busy with this month, incidentally, the timing of the book's publication being part of my brilliant meta marketing concept—were buried in End of the World Party invitations by now. In the mid-pre-post-apocalyptic world I imagined, December 23, 2012 was the new New Year's.

These parties would be taking [...]

29

For Those Who Have Asked Politely About My "Novel"

As National Novel Writing Month slogs on, the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.

Do you remember the episode of "The Simpsons" where Marge scores the fake Chanel suit? She looks incredible in it, straight-up incredible, and then this rich bitch she went to high school with spots her and briefly ushers her into Springfield high society? Anyway, she has only the one fake Chanel suit, so she has to transform it into culottes and an evening gown, etc. in order to keep the illusion afloat, but ultimately she stays true to herself because of Homer and [...]

18

In Praise of NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month screeched to a halt at midnight last night, and, pencils down, everyone! Last year, 119,301 people declared that they would write a novel in November. In total, those people wrote 1,643,343,993 words. (That's, on average, almost 14,000 words each.) They're still counting up the numbers for this year, but participation (and success) looks blockbuster. NaNoWriMo is among America's best institutions, like up there with the League of Women Voters and Crazy Ladies Who Feed Stray Cats, because it teaches thousands of people that there is nothing that is beyond them. I took part in, um, like 2002 or something, and what I learned was [...]

18

An Unexpected Masterpiece

As National Novel Writing Month continues on, the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.

The novel I never wrote is spotless. Every sentence is a sickening surprise. The plot coils round you like a python. Your eyes water badly at the humanist climax. You do not trust this response.

It is three hundred and twenty-nine pages long. It is at least fifty-four percent true and took six days to write. Seventeen people conspired against it, and each died under odd circumstances.

The text is political but not polemic, learned but not dense. It is charged with alarming [...]

9

My Misbegotten Historical Romance

As National Novel Writing Month gets underway, here's the first in a month-long series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.

In the fall of 1998, I was at UC Berkeley, mired in the early stages of a history Ph.D. program that, even in a best-case scenario, would last until 2003 and then spit me out into an increasingly tenuous academic job market—and my performance in grad school so far didn't necessarily promise a best-case scenario. I had few friends and had just had my heart broken rather badly; the latter, thankfully, served as a catalyst for some life reforms. 18 months later, [...]

5

My Terrible Dan Brown Ripoff Novel

As National Novel Writing Month slogs on, here's the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.

My first serious attempt to write a novel was, somewhat unfortunately, inspired by The Da Vinci Code. I was a college sophomore when I decided to try NaNoWriMo, and a few months into a busy school year, The Da Vinci Code and its cousin The Rule of Four were probably the last books I had read for fun. I was a medieval history and literature major particularly obsessed with England, and my moment of book inspiration came while thinking about the 12th-century [...]

19

Have You Started Your Novel Yet This Month?

It is time for our annual plug for National Novel Writing Month, which began yesterday, and it is not at all too late to join in! By whatever strange twist of madness, I've made my living writing (also sometimes just typing) for a few years, but before that, the first time I ever tried to do something serious with writing was for NaNoWriMo, back in its second or third year or something. Naturally the "novel" itself I was working on was a miserable failure, but it led to making friends, and getting encouragement from writers, and actually was key very directly in moving from amateur to slightly less amateur. [...]