Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNo isn't just about winning. Is it?

We Wrimos get pep talks every day during November (and beyond). Catherynne M. Valente (who?), James Patterson (oh, I know him), Rainbow Rowell (who?). Today's is from Patrick Rothfuss, another who? for me and an author whose genre I normally read only if I'm stranded in an airport and I've already read everything else in the bookstore. 

I'm not kidding. I haven't read Games of Thrones. No plans to remedy that. The TV series is enough for me.

But Pat is wise. So much, indeed, that I might give the first book of his trilogy a try (assuming I can find it in this literary poverty zone that is my island).

Why am I impressed? 'Cause he's a rule-breaker. And 'cause he proposes that NaNo isn't about winning. At least, not just about winning.

I give you one line:

"Writing good stories is why we're all here, right?"

Most of the people that bash NaNo do so because spewing out 50K words in 30 days (and nights) has disturbing similarities with projectile vomit. They're probably right. I mean, follow agents on Twitter and see them cringe thinking about the queries they'll receive come December.

For most Wrimos, the focus tends to be on achieving that 50K trophy. I've heard advice about not deleting anything--like, not even your typos? And although that vomit spewing does result in some awesome stream-of-consciousness creativity, it's refreshing to hear someone bring the attention of the 200K+ writers doing NaNo this year back into the core, the reason we do this scribbling thing: telling good stories. Whatever it takes.

Read Pat's whole pep talk here.


  1. "Disturbing similarities with projectile vomit." And this the sole reason I never enter. (cough)
    I'm sorry to read that many of your projects have lapsed, but I do wish you well with this. I find writing 500 words, never mind 50k, almost impossible.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Peter. I do hope one day you change your mind and join NaNo--you'll find out 50K isn't that much, after all ;)

  2. Glad you are finding the inspiration you need to keep going, G! Maybe one year - when I retire - I'll join you. Only a couple of decades to go...


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