placeholder NaNoWriMo post

by plermpt

the challenge of national novel writing month (which i have attempted every november since 2008, with mixed results) is to complete a 50k word “novel” within november’s 30 days. much like the nyc marathon (which i attended last week while working on this airbnb ad) there is nothing gained by finishing besides immense self satisfaction. nanowrimo ends with a mind wrung dry of ideas, and the nyc marathon ends with the body emptied of fuel and energy. for those without imaginations nanowrimo sounds “like a huge drain of time honestly”, but working for someone else sounds like a huge drain of time to me, and my time could not be spent better than writing down every fantasy i am too afraid to speak aloud. (all of my novels have been pornography.)

it seems that i am dutifully unemployed every november, and yet the onus to write an entire fucking novel is super inconvenient. but november 1st has become a holiday for me, and though every year i think my life will get in the way of my life’s work (still figuring out what that is) i cannot resist nanowrimo. because i will never be commissioned to write a novel for someone else i must write a novel for myself, put off the perpetual job hunt and getting weekday drunk until after i write, and ask the logistics questions later.

the gush of mental diarrhea that floods a blank document is normally when i wish to be interrupted. anything that will distract me from this effort is welcomed. only when i reach that revelatory sentence and begin to polish with that natural high that accompanies purpose do i demand solitude.

but nanowrimo is thirty days of forcing ideas without polishing sentences, and solitude must be maintained throughout this time to reach the daily 1667 word quota. all nonsense can be fleshed out because imagination is boundless; some fantasy nanowrimo writers reach 100k by november 30th.

forcing an easily distracted person like myself into a workflow of jotting nonsense on the daily still requires thoughtful effort, and always leads to the creation of more ideas. much like the gathering cosmic dust that formed our solar system, over time these ideas will form a lengthier work bordering coherence. writing means writing; interruption is for a less driven individual without a deadline. (i realize im wasting valuable time on this trivial placeholder blog post.)

some carefully selected, unpolished excerpts from years’ past nanowrimos show some progress i think.

2012:

For those of you who have never thought to do the opposite of what you have been unfairly conditioned to believe now is the time to change. This trope should be used as a dosage for motivation, and, with my burgeoning knack for the written word, will inculcate inspiration within you. I am speaking from a fresh perspective, myself being unfairly conditioned to settle in the years that are the most impressionable. Never pushed, or prodded, if it was not for my weirdness and unique take on the world around me, I could have been lost in the ocean of the unremarkable. Flattery is for the dominatrix, compliments are for the brown noses…I am making a suggestion that has nothing to do with talent or network or hard work:

1. Stay hydrated.

There are countless times I have observed a fellow, distracted with life’s many happenings, fail to drink himself a big gulping swallow of tapped water. From the slop sink is often preferable, however, drinking fountains, found in public squares, assemblies, and parks, also serve as an excellent source of the life giving elixir. (I am aware it rusts pipes.) When you are in need, you can always find a toilet, preferably a public toilet, which is used often enough that the pool is in constant flow refreshing itself, making it a safe option. (The mission is simple: keep it flowing. These assholes are easily confused, and easily angered, and I know their rude, insensitive, unprovoked remarks can be demeaning, but they MUST stay hydrated, even at the cost of your own life.)

2013:

 

Darlene and I sat and watched the ants carrying our picnic crumbs in a single file line.
I only ever saw him in darkness. He only called me after the sun set, and we only met in corners shrouded in shadows. When the sun went down I knew I would be hearing from him soon. Always at our meetings I felt his looming presence when as the day changed to night. What were we?

Night brings him upon me, a phone call I shouldn’t avoid, it’s as inevitable as the night itself.

I’m with Darlene, a client. Not tonight though. He’s watching me. He’s over my shoulder, watching me do my work. Watching me not do my work. When we meet in the darkness, he simply watches me. This is my home. I allow him into my home with some reluctance.

Darlene, I’ll be your new doop.

 

2014:

With his posh button up and down, even at the wedding classy chad was overdressed. I heard he sang a song with typical baritone, there was so much soothsaying in that audience of Top 40 hits that he wasn’t welcome on the glassy linoleum. The crowd, as mysterious to each other as they were to classy chad gave him the silence of respect when he first began his throbbing crooning, but soon becoming impatient and dissatisfied, found a common theme amongst themselves, and ebbing between reverberation and then violent outburst, became a crowd of hooting mandrills, tearing off clothes and hats and ribbons alike, spitting shit through clenched muscles inside their gums like a venomous toad.

Whether or nor this was the expected outcome of his sad and silly song, classy chad remained at the pulpit and received the physical and literal shit, as he watched the party of people already less classy than him, but not classless, devolve into a session of lovemaking that his lip curling crooning and suave, pomade hair falling in equally robust and greasy curls, became the auditory accompaniment. This was quite the scene, and it was last weekend, in the everglades, I think is what he told me.

are these novels meant to be read though? and if so who who want to read them? what if i don’t have anything to write about? what if i get bored and begin writing about other stuff? can i delete what i’ve written if i don’t like it? or what if it doesn’t fit in my story?

no. ask productive questions: besides drug addiction what kinds of problems can i give my characters? how can i inject backstory without a monologue? what are some quirky locations for a love scene? what are your favorite animals? would they be tasty blended? what is in dylan’s package and why did the man selling dehumidifiers send him to the world trade center on sept 12, 2001? where did stephanie learn to beat thoroughbred horses so ruthlessly?

the immensity of noveling must begin somewhere, and nanowrimo’s 30 days of literary abandon gives a time and a place to start. but there is so much more value in steadfastly converting thought to page than writing about how i am going to steadfastly convert thought to page.

back to it.

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