Saturday, November 21, 2009

9 days left in national novel-writing month!

With 9 days left in national novel-writing month, I imagine you are freaking out! But no fear, there are novels (well, yes, short ones mostly) that have been drafted in a month. For inspiration, I'll drop a dime on a couple: Paul Auster's Portrait of an Invisible Man and Jean-Philippe Toussaint's The Bathroom. I suspect in both cases that is the first draft alone, and we don't have the hard facts, the exact data as it were. Okay, I'll admit the Auster is packaged with another memoir and is more or less a long story told in fragments (but a good one).

Fans of Jack Kerouac's On the Road are no doubt already aware that the original scroll was produced "during a three-week period in the spring of 1951" (see http://www.ontheroad.org/ for the words surrounding this quoted bit). I've heard that Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 was first drafted in three weeks, but I've also heard this disputed.

But back to your novel. What to do?

Quit work, boycott Thanksgiving, and write your ass off! And if you are writing twelve to fourteen hours a day on November 30, let the momentum carry you into December and make that month your writing month too.

You need your novel in your life.

Happy word choice, writer.

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