Thursday, December 3, 2009

Response to Peter Carey's NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Hi everybody!

(chirp... chirp...)

Oh well. Anyway on November 29th I successfully wrote 50,000 words in (less than) thirty days making me a winner of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). After we wrote our words and validated we are kind of still on a high from it all and we continue to troll the message boards afterward.

We also get info on how to edit our novel and seek to publish it and we get one last pep talk.

Sadly the last pep talk was lacking in pep as one poster pointed out.

Here's the thread it was posted in near the bottom it's the longest one, I'll give the real link when I can. Anyway I ranted about it in the discussion thread (the second longest post) and some people (okay one person) complimented me on it.

Therefore to save it forever.

-Most of this was written from my first read through. You may notice what I got from it in the first pass. I realize that I am somewhat harping on a single thing ("turn off your television"), but of course I don't want to be a writer, I want to be an artist-

Shortly before I heard about NaNoWriMo I read the Idiot's Guide to Novel Writing, mostly just to see if there was something important I didn't know.

The author, Thomas Monteleone, got a Masters in English because he felt that to be a novelist he needed a high level degree in English, yet he discovered that academia didn't think that much of "commercial" writing (he was derided by his professors). He stated that he never made use of his masters and could have better spent the time. He also comments that many authors think that writing should be a painful, boring arduous task.

He disagreed. You should enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise why are you doing it?

Personally I have a degree in Theatre. My plan is to become a theatrical designer. I like art and I have a broad definition of it. A fiction novel is art, as is a television show as is a major motion picture just as much as the Mona Lisa, Stary Night or Shakespeare's Twelve Night or "Ave Maria" or "My Heart Will Go On". They vary in quality, but I understand that they are art. They are reflections of human emotions and in many cases they are felt by others and help them realize that someone else has gone through (or thinks about, or fears) the same thing.

If you want to be a serious writer watch television. Watch shows you don't like, because your characters won't all be writers and they will watch those shows. Watch chick flicks and the movies that bomb in the box office. Realize what those writers did wrong and do the opposite. See live theatre, see classics, hear the door slam that rang across the world, but also see how an animated film can be brought into real life too. Attend concerts, see a live orchestra or a rock band, note how they differ from the recordings. See how people react to their favorite idols in person. Travel, see your country, see your mother country, see something other than your own hometown. Watch the news, understand politics in your country and others. When a world leader does something you don't like, understand why they did it even if you still disagree.

Do these things and your stories will be greater for it.

Then Get Excited and Make Things

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, everyday, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”
- Christopher Morley (American writer and editor 1890-1957)

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