Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Pursuit of the Nano

WITH the spirit of Nanowrimo in the air, I've been thinking about last year's all-out Nanowrimo challenge. It was the first time I'd heard about Nano and I was eager to give it a go. Reading over my completed novel today made me wish I had the time to do it this year. It's a lot of fun, writing flat-out for a month; it's even more fun when you're juggling exams, housework and Christmas plans into the bargain. But I finished it in the end, and I remember just how proud I was when I opened up the certificate pdf.

I was considering doing Nano this year for a while...

Last year certainly wasn't the best time to do it (being during exams and all) but I don't think it was too great a distraction. And then there's the feeling of accomplishment, too. It's the first and only novel I've ever completed, and I somehow have the feeling that if I don't do something similar again soon I'll become too unused to the feeling of completing something like this.

Having said that, some of the writing is truly terrible. Here's a sample from my first and only Nano novel, In Pursuit of the Fox. It's the story of plucky nurse Adelaide Forster who, when a meteor crashes to earth, falls in love with a mysterious space-man who appears at the scene and then disappears in a flash, as all awesome space-men inevitably do. This is a scene where Adelaide, at a dinner party, gets talking to an eccentric scientist who believes he's built a time machine.

" "Oh, no. I'm not sure if I could let that happen," he said. "I don't know if it's safe or not. I mean... anything could happen and I don't want to just send people out like that at random."
"Fair point. But with something like a time machine, you can't exactly test it like any other machine," Kenmore pointed out. "I mean, how would you do it, for a start?"
"Oh, I've already sent a hamster out there," Roy said cheerfully. "It worked... though the hamster couldn’t exactly tell me about it," he conceded.
"So how do you know it worked?" Talia asked.
"Oh, it came back with a genuine medieval spear. I took it to all the experts and everything. Tested the wood and the make. I suppose it could always be lying."
"Wood never lies," Kenmore said.
"You never know," Roy joked. "We have some pretty strange trees down my way. They're almost feral." "

I don't remember what exactly I was thinking, but I believe I wrote that part about the hamster in all seriousness. Which kind of worries me. But then, when and where else would you find a medieval spear-wielding hamster if not in Nanowrimo month?

It's strange, but I remember being insanely proud of my story, despite the fact that a) I wasn't a science fiction or a romance enthusiast; b) I had no clear or logical idea about what a future of the earth might involve, and c) I'd written most of it at top speed using a tool on the internet which forced you to write quickly and consistently or it began to make a truly terrible noise. Mind you, that's not to say I thought my plot was terrible; but as time went on I inevitably found it turning out very differently from what I'd planned; kind of like this post, actually.

As I've said, I toyed with the idea of doing Nano this year for a long time, but eventually I decided that it would probably be tempting fate too much, and I didn't want any major distractions this month. It's probably a decision for the best, though not one that thrills me terribly. But I've got a lot of stuff planned for this summer, and although I won't write a whole novel this November, I might manage one over December, January, February, and March.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I hope that you go well with your writing and that you manage to write the novel that you are planning.

    I love the whole hamster scene. Thought that was genuis!