Nanowrimo. The madness.

Madness?
“Madness?” I almost hear you think, dear reader. Please, fear not. Even when there is madness involved, I am still in reasonable control of my abilities.

But you said madness!
True. I did. Let me explain. Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an exercise for authors, or rather anyone who likes to write, to let go of standards of proper writing. Instead, you engage on a lunatic journey to produce a novel of at least 50,000 words in one month. In other words, you write an average of 1666 words each day. The month chosen for this is November. And November is about to start.

Words… words…
Oh, I understand your confusion. How much is so many words? It is difficult to give an exact number of pages, but for 50,000 words you should think of a book of about 120 pages. Yes, that makes for a lot of words. Due to the speed of writing, there is no time to make sure the writing that comes out of this month is something very nice and pretty. The produced writing will be horrible; there are typos unfixed, ideas and plots that take all kinds of turns without making sense, names of characters can occasionally change at will. But that is not a problem during Nanowrimo. It is based on the challenge to do this, to write so much, to let go of the built-in editor who wants to go back and make things look so much better.

But that leaves us with a mess!
True. The end result is not something to be proud of when you look at it as a book, dear reader. But for that there are the dark winter months. Then there is the time to re-read the novel (once the author has gathered enough stamina to face that monster again), and go over the typos, the bad grammar and all the mistakes and “unguided missiles” in the text. The only pride that is in that monster is the satisfaction of having achieved this mad dash to the end of the trail, the 50,000 words (or more) written in one month.

And what does Nanowrimo to your life?
Ooohhh… that is a nasty question… November is a month that traditionally means retreating from selected bits of human interaction. After all, there is still a part of normal life that has to happen as well. Think of work, sleep, laundry and all such forms of entertainment.

Nanowrimo is a strange thing. One hardly thinks of it through the year, but at a certain point it pops up. There is the need for an idea, a plan, a plot, a story. And from that moment on the experience is already building, which finds its culmination in November. The month that tens of thousands of people all over the world attempt to write an average of 1666 words a day, to reach that goal of 50,000 words after the 30 days of the month.

Nanowrimo online.
If you want to know more about Nanowrimo, you can visit the Nanowrimo website.

Baffled, still.

Yes, dear reader, I am baffled again. Still. Sometimes it does not take much to achieve that. Especially when it comes to utterings of appreciation concerning the stories or books that I have written.

I started writing the Hilda stories in July 2009. That is little over two years ago. In that time, up to now, 7 books have come to life and found their way to many people’s e-readers, computers, telephones and whatever other devices people come up with to read on, and book eight is nearing completion.

A while ago I posted a little status update on my Facebook author page, on the progress of the eighth book. Immediately someone responded:

So the newest one is ready???? I cannot wait, so excited…..reading one after the other right now.

This surprised me. Are people really waiting that anxiously for more of what I write? It is flattering of course. Still I shan’t write any faster, just to push out book after book. I write for my own pleasure as well as that of the reader, and I want to keep up and improve the quality of writing that (I think, hope) I have built up over the years. Speeding up will definitely have a negative influence on that.

I wonder… again… Are there other writers, authors who happen to read this, who experience similar ‘fan‘-tastic responses to their work? How do you deal with that?

I shall go back to pondering the deviousness of the next Hilda book now, and anticipating the coming of Nanowrimo. Have a good Sunday everyone!

Featured quote

Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. To Why am I here? To uselessness. It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.
– Enid Bagnold

Input asked on the ninth Hilda book

Yes, dear reader. The ninth book. Book 7, Back to school, has just hit the e-shelf of Smashwords; book 8, which will be titled Dragon Master, is approaching its final words in draft, and I am already looking at number 9.

Now I have a question… if book 9 of Hilda would involve another fairy tale, like Snow-White revisited, which one would that be? Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

I’ve been pondering this for a while, and I thought it might be fun to ask you. If your suggestion is picked, you get a free copy of that e-book. *grin*

This question originally came to life on my Facebook author page, and so far the responses include:

Cinderella (1 vote so far)
Rumpelstiltskin (2 vote so far)
Chicken Little (1 vote so far)
Hansel and Grethel (3 votes so far)
Mother Hulda (1 vote so far)
The Frog Prince (1 vote so far)
Beauty and the Beast (2 votes so far)
Little Red Riding Hood (1 vote so far)
Wassilissa the Beautiful (1 vote so far)
East o the Sun and West o the Moon (1 vote so far)

A little word of warning on book 8: a final draft does not mean it is ready to be published yet, so please allow for a bit of time to edit and proof it. I know that many of you are jumping to read it. It will come.

Book review – The Sorcerer’s House

Title: The Sorcerer’s House
Author: Gene Wolfe
Genre: Fantasy
Rating

At first I was a bit surprised, reading this book. The form in which it is written is quite unusual (I shall refrain from what it is, that’s something for you to discover), but once I had gotten used to it, I loved the idea. And getting used to the format was quite easy, I should add.

Baxter Dunn, a man freshly released from prison, suddenly finds himself in a plenitude of strange happenings in the small town of Medicine Man where he occupies a simple hotel room. Puzzled, he ventures on, meeting people who help him understand more and more of what is going on, but at the same time these people (are all of them people?) often manage to add to the confusion.

Bax, as he is known to friends, learns a lot about his past and his family in this story which is permeated with magic and interesting creatures, the more the tale progresses.

I was however slightly disappointed by the manner that Mr. Wolfe ended the story. It was as if he had lost interest and wanted to put the story to an end rather quickly. This could have been done in a much more elaborate and satisfying way. For this reason I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5.

A large and mysterious house, a slender fox, a fascinating twin and quite the remarkable butler are wonderful characters and locations in this book. I dare say these are the ingredients for a recommended read for people who like fantasy, magic and the occasional puzzle.

You can find The Sorcerer’s House in print at Amazon.com and as e-book at KoboBooks.com.

WorldReader

A blogpost on TheDigitalReader about “World Reader” drew my attention.

What is WorldReader?

E-readers and e-books. They are normal things for us, for many among us they are daily goods. WorldReader wants to use them to change the world. Using e-readers and e-books, they want to educate the people who usually are not able to get to this kind of information, and ignite the love of reading in as many people as possible. WorldReader wants to help others, so shouldn’t we try to help WorldReader get into the eyes of the e-book world?

 

E-readers and e-books are much easier to transport and distribute because of their size and weight. They can be charged with simple solar panels etc. And they save trees.

If you want and can, post a link to their site or this post, mention them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Diaspora, wherever you think it might help.

 

Featured quote

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
– William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”