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 My NaNoWriMo Story

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Owle Gray

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Number of posts : 163
Age : 25
Registration date : 2010-02-26

PostSubject: My NaNoWriMo Story   Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:30 pm

This November, I undertook the horrible trial of NaNoWriMo. (http://pwnforum.forumotion.com/contests-f14/nanowrimo-t27.htm) The people were really nice, the adventure was... challenging, and I finally broke through my writer's block. But nobody cares, I know. So I wanted to post something to show people what the experience was like inside the month, before I became my I'm-happy-to-be-alive-and-oh-yeah-I-wrote-50k self. Enjoy the behind the scenes. ^_^ By the way, it is unedited.

The NaNoWriMo Story

I thought that it would be a good idea. Kill the inner editor. Be free of doubt in writing. The writing will set you free. I did not foresee that I would get less concise, more wordy, trying to express the same idea in as many words as possible, repeating myself over and over. I did not foresee run-on sentences. I did not foresee the struggles of IB undone in a month. Now, I see nothing but words. Words that are NOT going towards my word count. It’s either that I am typing e-mails and skype, not my story; I am talking when I could be writing; or I stare at pages of math, thinking, if only sigmas counted as words…

The plan did not work. It was fine in week one. I was told that within me resided two characters, the inner editor and the inner writer, that the inner editor was an evil elf stemming from unresolved childhood issues, and was to be avoided, suppressed, and denied at all costs. My inner writer would prevail and save the month with his second-rate unabashed rambling powers.

Fine! Uttered the inner editor (with initials I.E., that is… my actual self?) And he went over to a corner in my network of neurons, folded his arms, and, with a barely-audible ‘umph!’, sat down on a hammock of axons, tapping his foot ever so slightly against the nearest neuron cell to give me a woeful headache. No matter. I turned to my hero, the inner Writer, and told him, “venture forth, and write! Henceforth. you are free!”

He stared at me in a dumbfounded fashion. I could stare back at him, for he was lodged deeply behind my eyeballs. The inner editor began to whistle.

“Are you NUTS?!!!” finally, my inner writer mustered up the words. “I NEVER wrote 50 000 words in my LIFE, and neither did you, for that matter, so stop feeling superior. The only reason I got by in the world was because every syllable I uttered was crafted, dissected, inspected, and formulated into brilliance by that evil genius, the super-editor. HE handled the thesaurus, HE memorized all those booooring grammar rules; HE caught all my hyperboles and polished off my literary devices. I spent the last 4 years of IB life over there in the neuron hammock in the back corner. All the commentaries, comparison essays, and written responses, that was all HIM. The only time I got off my literary back was to start that final IB 2 paper, and we both know that had more analysis in it than creativity. I’m useless, untrained, lazy, and, quite frankly, tired from coming up with this paragraph! [156 words, for the record]

“Circa 156 words, “ my I. E. piped up from the hammock, “You added the self-reference, so it’s more. Leaving at as circa is a cool twist, it will leave the reader counting the words and contemplating why you chose not to include the self-reference, and what would happen if you did. The circular nature of the paradox could keep them occupied for hours!”
“YOU shut up now,” I told him, loyal to my NaNowrimo ways. His pride scuffed, he scuffled over into the corner. It was only then that I noticed that I forgot to remark that he stood up out of his hammock as he talked. I considered my inner writer hopelessly.

“We should use ‘looked at’, not considered; more words,” he remarked slyly.

“I ALREADY MENTIONED I CAN’T STARE AT YOU EARLIER, YOU IDIOT!!! How would that look for consistence and flow, huh? And there’s no ‘WE’, mister, I have midterms and math proofs, and philosophy readings, and physics assignments, and labs, and … life….”

“Come on, even I know you don’t have a life,” he mocked with a smile.

“You, just SHUT UP. NO! Start talking. Writing! Get to it! And no smartass remarks.”

“Smartass remarks often make a character endearing to today’s conforming world. House, the Joker, Sheldon, all with – disgusting – personalities, endearing to the viewer because of their quick word and malicious tongue.”

I knew where that was coming from. “You. Stop. ANALYZING! You’re like the Inner Agitator of my peace, and I’ve had ENOUGH I.A.’s in my life, thank you!” Silence. He was mocking me.

“Hold on, why…” I turned to my inner writer, he was carefully tracing the initials I.A. in cursive. He was so concentr absorbed in it, his tongue was sticking out. He would be no help. I turned to the inevitable. He was smiling complacently at me. “Why… no books?”

“Oh come on, darling, when was the last time you picked up a BOOK? It’s all been university this and homework that, you have not held a non-text book in a LONG while. I could say, it’s been a REALLY long time for you, but I’m afraid you might take several different ways, if you pardon the innuendo.”

“Can’t wait till I get a date; I’d LOVE to see the two of you going at it.” All the insults in the world [oh-oh, hyperbole] would not hide the realization that I am, truly, out of it.

“Being melodramatic, are we?” His smile was almost too evil to be true. Then I remembered the worst insult of all. “Yeah, well, you’re FICTIONAL.”

It did not unnerve him, but it shut him up, he strutted over to his hammock home and resumed causing my headache. I turned to the inner writer, grabbed him by the scuff of his neck (“But, I’m fictional, too,” he mumbled), threw him into my forebrain, and yelled “WRITE!!!” as loud as I could without any audible real-world sound. “I don’t care if it’s crap, I don’t care if you have to breed it from your own flesh…”

“… that would be through asexual reproduction, for greater significance and effect of depth there.”

“Yeah, I know, we read the same textbook. And WHY would my editor bother looking over my bio notes?”
He shrugged, “I get bored sometimes.”

Shaking Trembling with anger, I turned back to my inner writer. He was sprawled over my grey matter, trembling – with fear. I felt slightly better. “Now WRITE! You got the memo! And NO complaints until you hit 50k!”

*** (do these count as words?)

It has been a week, and my inner editor was getting positively bored. He took his amusement out on mocking friend’s grammar and laughing hysterically at my chemistry lab manual. The inner writer wrote, laboriously but pointlessly, about something I no longer cared about. Without my I.E. there, challenging me, egging me on with his pessimism, pointing out what would read and what wouldn’t – In a word (or several words), making me smarter than I thought I could be – writing was no fun. And the inner writer, like any overrated superhero, was true to his word. He really did suck. And he didn’t hide it, either. He thought it was “befitting of a hero to undergo many challenges and emerge victorious despite overwhelming odds.” I threatened that I would make something emerge out of him that he really didn’t want there in the first place; told him thinking is not what he was being paid for. (with him, it was mostly idioms and clichéd sayings isomorphisms) He told me he was not being paid. Lip, from him? Where did that come from? Then I noticed the inner editor pacing behind my corpus callosum. Ah.

So, at the end of a week, I had less than 10 000 words to scrape together, even with all the (uncreative) powers of cheating my inner writer could summon. I took my characters out to places they did not want to go; assigned them traits they did not want to be. Soon, my inner editor did a mass exeunt with half the contents of my brain, in protest of my outrageous new policies of “longer, wordier, and less sensical is better, as it gets me closer to the word count, and lets me get sleep.” I was alone with my writer. He did not talk – he could not multitask, and anything he uttered would only irritate me. Several times, I wanted to press ctrl+A and delete; once, even ctrl+alt+delete, but I let him work on. We got through week 1 with the minor casualties of my sanity, sleep, and satisfaction. That trio was so used to the life-and-perishing cycle, that they went unnoticed, without the single sign of a whimper. True, my spelling also suffered, but Word editing will corset that, right?

Anyway, there I was, at the end of week 1, lonely, exhausted, brain-dead, I mean, COME ON, I was talking about my inner writer in the third person, how do you think I was doing?!

I recall only that episode amidst the people who made it, rather, the people who made It, (I shall not utter that pesky N-word), in the fiction section at Indigo. They organize their books by author’s last name, in order: A Authors, B Authors, and so on. Each with a nice clean label, for there are, as a matter of fact, SO MANY PEOPLE who managed to write a novel worth reading! Well, I happened upon the label ‘F Authors’, and burst into uncontrollable, sporadic, laughter. “F Authors! That’s what the store thinks about them. F them indeed! F Authors!!!” My friend looked concerned, walked me out into fresh air, and wished me luck when we parted. She knew I was one of them Nanowrimos.

The thing is, all those wonderful pep talks, imbued with sarcasm, reverse psychology, and dares, all those inspirational life-stories that rekindle within you the false hope that died, justifiably, long, long ago.… All of these only get you so far. And ‘so far’ is a sign hanging over the large moor that is week 2. That is when, amidst the mud and moss, the miserables mensonges are revealed (or is it mensonges miserables? Where IS my inner editor?!). See, it is all there in the text, but in your fervent expectations of churning out a novel, you do not really read what you do not want read. It is not for nothing that he is called the evil genius of your fictional brain denizens (that’s fictional denizens, not fictional brain, I think…). He retired to the inner crevices of my subconscious, only to design the ThinkRight3000 (all one word, just to mess with my ambition), something akin to the nuke of creativity. THAT went off in my mind in week 2. In all honesty, I wanted to thank him, at least I can still form a sentence (Does that mean Mme M. in grade 10 french unleashed my inner writer? Est-ce que c’est pourquoi je ne peux pas faire au moins un phrase en francais maintenant? Bad grammar intended, for unavoidable (and I still have free will if I wish to want to have what I have, Frankfurt, 410)). I did not say it would be a coherent sentence. Brackets within brackets. That is how low I sank before the ThinkRight3000 went off.

I did not really find my inner writer. I think there were scraps of him in my dreams, groaning in pain, or maybe that was me groaning in pain at what he wrote… funny how dreams slip away. The place was sterilized. I could not draw, paint, write, maintain coherent conversation, or even think for prolonged periods of time. But I was no longer burdened by bad writing, and my I.E. was back, nursing me back to health by being overly critical. Together, in a wild and memorable night, we produced the Philosophy paper. Yes, I am aware that that did not sound right. As if having imaginary men in my head is. Get some perspective.

Week 3 passed without notice. No, seriously, if anyone patrolled the site, they would sing an ode to my demise. And I did not notice that it passed. Literally, I had no idea it’s the beginning of week 4 already. Yeek! (Rhymes with Geek! Might be useful…) I’m still at 21 thou. Fudgeness. Blatherings. Smile

So… how does the story end?

Why do stories have to end? Huh? Huh? Yeah, I’m talking to you! (*writing,… whatever, I’ll edit it out, it shows passion and it’s fine for now.) Yeah, I’m talking to you! When you end, what happens? Think about that! Is that what you want me to do to my own story? Is it?! Huh?!!! (careful, don’t overdo)

«Well, is it going somewhere?» you ask. Hmph! It’s the beginning of week 4, 3:07 am, and I just wasted time writing this up. Where do you think it’s going? How do you think it’s going? It’s going well. ^_^

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