Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just Say NaNo!

It's November again, which has completely taken me by surprise.  Didn't we just have a November LAST year?  What's that about?

I'm thinking about all those authors and wanna be authors and wanna be writers who are attempting to write novels in the month of November.  NaNoWriMo.  National Novel Writing Month. 

I've never participated in this event, and since November has snuck up on me, I'm definitely not going to be participating this year.  In the past, I've actually been pretty much against the whole "I'm going to write a decent novel in a month" thing, because I figured that not very many people could write a decent novel in a month.  I still sort of think that.  But I'm starting to realize that there are a lot of people who can write a decent novel (or something that could eventually become a decent novel with lots of editing) in a month.  It's just that there are many others who can't.

My problem with NaNo is not with the concept.  My problem is that there seem to be a lot of people out there who are calling themselves novelists because they have participated in NaNo, and a lot of these people have no business calling themselves novelists.  If you've written something that's well thought out with great characters and a great plot, then sure, pat yourself on the back and call yourself a novelist.  If you've slapped together 50,000 words of plotless drivel in a month, then that doesn't make you a novelist.  That makes you someone who can type.  There's enough competition for aspiring authors out there without having to deal with mere typists who call themselves novelists.  I'm sorry to break this to everyone, but we all can't be novelists. 

With that being said, I don't think NaNo is a bad idea for even for people who might never be true novelists.  It's something fun to do, something new to try and experience.  Even if the 50,000 word manuscript that someone comes up with is absolute crap, that doesn't mean he/she wasted his/her time.  If someone gets a rush out of going crazy trying to write a novel in a month, then I guess there's nothing wrong with that.  It's just not for me...and I can call myself a novelist (even if I can't call myself an author). least not this year.  I've got enough on my plate.

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