Friday, November 12, 2010

The Horror... The Horror...

Unshaven and unshorn, bearded and bedraggled, emanating the distinctive funk of too much coffee, too many cigarettes, and too many skipped baths, mud-wrestling with a puerile plot and uncooperative characters.

I am not a pretty sight.

Awright, you! I heard that! Don't make me come over there! I'm on the edge, ya know! I have access to word processing software and I know how to use it! I will do things to you that will make your mother and the Baby Jeebus cry! With my words! In print! For maybe two or three people to read, you synaptically-challenged sack o' sleaze! See how you like that! And that!

Dear, sweet Crom and His Tenacious Terrifying Testicles, if this is November and I'm writing like this then it must be National Novel Writing Month and I, for some unspeakably insane reason, am a participant. What was I thinking? What am I thinking? Am I truly so masochistic to once again sip the soup of suck?

Oh, yes, I knew exactly what I was getting into when I took up the challenge of writing a 50,000 word/175 page novel in thirty days: five years ago I was every bit as sleep-deprived and bleary-eyed as I am right now, banging the keyboard to produce virtual page after virtual page of Squidboy Rising: A Lovecraftian Romp Through Time and Space.*

Which was really, really bad. Plot summary: an Industrial Noise band accidentally awakens one of the minor Great Old Ones slumbering beneath our planet's crust. Hijinks ensue. Blood, breasts, beasts. Heads roll. Bulldozer-fu. Gratuitous reference to the Chesapeake Bay impact crater. Lee-Bob sez, "Don't check it out."

This year? Notes of A Dialectical Derelict: A (Mostly Fictional) Memoir of Drunkenness (hypothetical cover here). It's... not good.**

So why do some 170,000 do this thing and generate gazillions of words of mostly ghastly prose? Bestselling author John Green says,

At this point, you've probably realized that it's nearly impossible to write a good book in a month. I've been at this a while and have yet to write a book in less than three years. All of us harbor secret hopes that a magnificent novel will tumble out of the sky and appear on our screens, but almost universally, writing is hard, slow, and totally unglamorous. So why finish what you've started? Because in two weeks, when you are done, you will be grateful for the experience. Also, you will have learned a lot about writing and humanness and the inestimable value of tilting at windmills.
And, believe it or not, when all is said and done, where the rubber meets the road and pigs fly, it's kinda fun.***

*Well, I'd just read Nick Mamatas' Move Under Ground, wherein the main characters, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs (with a cameo by Allen Ginsberg), square off against the mighty forces of a recently-risen Cthulhu. It's funny as hell. And That Darn Squid God, also funny as hell, inspired the title.

*Well, okay; some of it was funny when I re-read it the other day.

***Oh, yeah; I should explain away the horrificness of some of these sentences--ya does whats ya gotta to get 50,000 words. And, yes, somehow or other I'll be incorporating this little vignette into my NaNoNovel to increase my word count, so it's NOT time wasted!


JSaM said...

I think this novel thingie is good for you. I can see you're enjoying it!

G. W. Ferguson said...

It's fun in that feels-so-good-when-I-stop way. Fortunately, no one will ever see it.