Friday, October 31, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

Well, I did it. I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Am I nuts? Time will tell.

If you are unfamiliar with the National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) I encourage you to visit the link above. It is a great opportunity to finally write that novel you've been thinking about. The basic premise is you need to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Beginning to end. The emphasise is on quantity and not quality. Just how much can you write in 30 days time? I guess I'm about to find out.

I come to this ill prepared, so I have pretty low expectations. But all that means is there is a great deal of room to be surprised. I have the basic concept of a story, but not much in the way (read none) of an outline. I may try to hammer one out tonight. My goal off the bat will be to write two hours a night at least 5 days a week. Probably 9:30 - 11:30 pm.

I'm going to try my hand at a young adult novel. There is an idea that I've kicked around with some friends for a few years, called Noah Zarc. If I get anything worth-while I'll try to get my illustrator friend to round out the story with illustrations.

So pedal to the metal. Ready... Set...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Advice from Stephen King

I saw this clip of Stephen King a while ago. He talks about a magic moment. When you put down a book and realize "I can do better than this." That moment happened for me over the past few days. (Ok that isn't a moment, but sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake.) I've been reading, actually listening on my iPhone, to Sly Mongoose by Tobias Buckell. Now I'm not going to go as far as Mr. King and say it sucked. Because it most certainly did not. I enjoyed the overall story quite a bit, and since this is the third in a series I've read, I'm pretty invested in the universe he creates, and the main character, Pepper. But as I listened to the story, I was struck quite often by the writing. It didn't seem as polished as I remembered the past two books. The author repeated words and phrases often. The dialogue and description didn't seem as crisp. And quite frankly the opening scene was the best part of the whole book. (You can read it on his website: ) But the question I asked myself was, could I do any better? I'm not sure if I know the answer, but tonight I was sitting in Starbucks editing Crimson Swarm. And several times, I said, "yeah, this is good stuff." The chapter I was working on (about half way through the story) really flowed well. The dialogue was crisp. The action clear. I don't know, I'm too big of a wuss to say it was better writing than Mr. Buckell, (and what makes it even harder is the man is really a great guy, and we've talked a couple times via email.) But maybe, just maybe I had a Stephen King moment. Whatever it takes to get me to finish this darn novel... I'll take it. (sorry Tobias)

Here's the Stephen King clip: