Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why do I participate in NaNoWriMo?

Hi All,

While NaNoWriMo ended weeks ago it's still lingering for a number of reasons.  The fine folks at NaNoWriMo are now encouraging people to edit it their November stories. This is something I can't do - at least not in the month of December.

There are plenty of articles online from writers and others in the literary world who hate that NaNoWriMo exists.  According to many of them, NaNoWriMo is the worst thing ever brought to life. The critics bring some convincing arguments to their battle cry of why this yearly writing pilgrimage is a horrible thing.

I have to agree with some of them because a few people will go out and self-publish their November writing without getting an editor, rewriting it numerous times or putting in the effort and endless hours to take what they created and bring it to its brilliance.  This makes the author look bad and just gives the critics more fire power.

I have nothing against self-publishing as I do it myself.  It's great, as it allows me full control of my work.  It allows me to find the right editor, the right cover, and graphic designer.  It allows me to work on my novel for as long as it takes.  That's what happened with my most recent novel that came out in October.  That story started back in 2011, sat for a good year before I went back to it again.  Then it was six months of rewriting, having someone read it for feedback, rewriting it again, then editing it and working on it a bit more. This process took a whole year.

I went through 50 different titles and numerous photos trying to find the one that captured the soul of the novel.  I spent a lot of time in the creation of this novel and in the end it was something that I was proud to have created and shared the creation with numerous other creative people.

That's the thing.  Yes, I wrote a novel but I wasn't alone in it's creation.  I was the main creator but I had other creative types help me.  I had a photographer whose photo caught my eye to use, I had a friend who was a graphic designer lend her talents and I had an editor who truly loves their job.  These people are creative in their own ways and they assisted me in bringing my novel to life.

I participate in NaNoWriMo because it lets me flesh out ideas that I may have.  It forces me to work the story idea out even though it's a rough draft.  From what I write during NaNoWriMo it will or will not speak to me in a way that suggests I continue on with it.  I have participated in NaNoWriMo for ten years and three of my stories have become published.

I think this is what people miss about NaNoWriMo.  It's meant to help all of us on some level.  For some, it motivates them to trying writing.  For others, it's the challenge that inspires them to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Some people see the event as a chance to bring an idea to life, for others its a way for them to become better writers.  Its a chance to experiment. There are many reasons why people participate in this event.  There are good things that come out of participating whether you hit the 50,000 words or not.

I participate in NaNoWriMo simply because I love to write.  It is the most wonderful feeling in the world to liberate myself with the stroke of a pen or a clack on the keyboard. In an afternoon I can create a person, I can create a whole new world and at the same time I can destroy it all if I so choose and come back the next day and do it all again.

That's it for me, kids.  I leave you with "Straight from The Heart" by Bryan Adams as your musical treat.

Rock on!
~Maynard


 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Ramblings

I am currently on a break from writing anything new but continue to read my ramblings from November when I participated in NaNoWriMo.  I could add more detail to what I have written and could easily break it into two books.  I don't know what will become of this particular story as I don't always turn one of my NaNoWriMo manuscripts into a book.

I have plenty of other ideas swimming in my brain and write them down in notebook I have that contains story ideas, character names, locations and other interesting things. I have been toying with the idea of creating a special book for writers but who knows.  I need to iron that idea out a bit.

In recent weeks, I have been re-introduced to the world of comic books. The last time I read a comic I was a kid and it was Wonder Woman.  I wish I still had that comic.  These days I have been reading The Crow, Bodies, Hellblazer and Suicide Risk.  I only have one or two issues of each of these but comics have certainly come a long way from when I read them as a kid.

Comics are visual stories with interesting dialogue and dilemmas. It made me wonder if I could turn one of my stories into one.  It would be an interesting project to say the least and I may just have to give it a try one day.

For now, I will enjoy the outdoors after four days of continuous snow.  It has left a nice white blanket all around. In the early morning hours when the sky has a hint of pink and purple in it, it's quite beautiful to look at.  Today, I am leaving you with Bing Crosby's version of Walking In a Winter Wonderland as your musical treat.

~Maynard