Nanowrimo Eve, Meh

November ushers in the month long marathon writing session for tens of thousands of writers.  Tomorrow they will sit down with a blank page and end the month with a fifty- thousand-word novel.  A noble idea.  I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong.  Anything that promotes writing, I support.  The problem with the National Novel Writing Month is that it promotes bad writing.  I can’t tell you how many bloggers or podcasters who give tips to NNWM participants that they would never give to anyone else.  I’ve heard them say, ‘if you are behind in your word count, give longer descriptions of settings,’ or ‘don’t worry about plotting, just keep moving forward’.  And other asinine advice.

I’ve never participated in the ‘contest’ and I’m never going to try.  I’m a slow, methodical writer.  If I write five thousand words a month, it’s a good month.  I also don’t like what it does to my writing groups.  Last year if shut one board down for months.

Don’t tell me someone can write a good novel in four weeks.  Maybe a decent outline of a novel, but not the body of a novel.  Of course one can write a formulaic tale filled with clichés and one dimensional characters.  If that is what you yearn for, then go ahead.

Writing novels is like gardening.  Lots of hard work, plenty of cutting and weeding, and most importantly… time.


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