116. screw the rules (caution, small kine potty mouth)
Okay, the NaNo is kicking my ass and so it’s time to take the gloves off, throw the referee out of the ring, and go from civilized match to no-holes-bared street brawl.
See, here’s the thing. When confronted with the word, “novel,” I think of something grand, noble, sophisticated. I also think of something whole, a large body of words about one thing. With these thoughts in mind, I set about the NaNo with high hopes and lofty aspirations. “Delusions of grandeur” would not be an inappropriate or inaccurate accusation.
From the beginning I had this idea to write little short story things like I’ve posted here (blog 43, 57, 61, 64, 67, 71, and 95), only these stories would all interconnect and they would make up pieces of a larger structure, a meta-narrative. I also had this crazy (aka stupid) idea about writing without names, creating a world where characters were known only by their pronouns. It was supposed to symbolize the anonymous world we live in, it was supposed to make the characters more accessible, more relatable. Instead, it made them…well, anonymous, impersonal, and hard to latch onto.
Well no more. I don’t give a shit anymore about the lofty term, “novel.” I’m ditching the connected-short-stories idea and just writing these damn stories – if they connect, they’ll have to do that on their own, I’m not helping them along. I’m also ditching the only-pronouns rule and using names where/when I want. Also, I’m not above using my characters as soap-boxes to rant about topics that I’m mad about (see the last entry in my novel’s blog titled, “Church“), even if that’s all they ever do.
In short, I’m writing as if reaching 50,000 words by the end of November is the only thing that matters, as if ending up with the first draft of a “novel” is optional, as if nothing matters but reaching that arbitrary word count.
I’m getting desperate here, and maybe that’s part of the point of joining the NaNo. Worst case scenario (actually, second-worst case…worst case scenario is me not reaching 50,000 words): I successfully complete NaNoWriMo and the stories don’t connect at all and for all intents and purposes, I’ve written a short story collection, not a novel. Well, so the hell what? On November 30th, I’ll write a new first chapter that reads, “a guy sat down to write a bunch of stories, and they went like this.” and then I’ll write a new last chapter that reads, “and then the guy stopped writing.” And that will tie everything else together and that will make it a novel about a guy writing a bunch of stories.
And if I make it that far, I’m probably going to be suffering from lack of sleep which will make me a twitchy, pissy individual so you probably don’t want to be the one accusing me of not really writing a novel. I’ve fired a shot gun before and I can do it again (of course, most of the clay pigeons I was firing at made a clean getaway, but I’m deadly accurate at close range…say, two feet).
“Hey, um, Randall? This is a nice blog and all, but shouldn’t you be writing your novel?”