November is fast approaching, which means that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I’m sure a lot of people saw my NaNoPrep series.
Unfortunately, with NaNoWriMo comes the condescension and the quite frankly BS from the people who dislike NaNoWriMo. I’ve seen it start a little later than usual this year, but I’ve still seen it.
I am all for NaNoWriMo. I’ve completed it a number of times, and I have published a number of NaNo Novels. One of the big complaints about NaNoWriMo is how is produces sheer drivel, how no one can possibly write a good book that quickly! Oh it’s positively awful, Amazon and the poor agents are just flooded with the dross of the masses.
First of all, a good number of the classic authors wrote books very quickly. Jekyll and Hyde was written in three days, for example. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas was written in two days. Then there’s Asimov, who is considered one of the greatest sci-fi authors of all time, who wrote at a blistering pace.
There are of course the modern books that people adore, such as The Night Circus, which also came from NaNoWriMo. Then, we have the modern indies, such as myself, who write a book a month as par for the course. There are many indies who do that who’re far more successful than me. They have hundreds, probably thousands, of eager fans who adore their work. Their books, which were written in a month or less, have hundreds of very positive reviews.
Tell me again how a good book can’t possibly be written in a month…
Oh but they need rewriting and rewriting and oh so much editing they cry!
Not all of them no. Those same indies I mentioned have professional editors who turn those books around in two weeks and produce good quality, typo free books. My own editor takes longer due to my aphasia, but it is perfectly possible to produce a nice tight first draft in a month. Some of us work that way.
But you’re the black swan, the outlier!
Hardly. Take a look at those indies, the romance genre in particular although there are plenty of SFF and thriller authors who do it too. Look at how many of us there are who do this regularly. It can be done. It takes work, planning, and a good understanding of the craft, but it absolutely can be done.
The majority of those other NaNoWriMo participants don’t care about craft! They just throw out words and drivel for a month!
So what if they do? What harm does it actually do to you? What is wrong with a group of people coming together, supporting each other, making fantastic friends, and doing something they love? There are plenty of people who find their passion and start something exciting and new during NaNoWriMo. Who are you to take that from them? Who are you to decide how people must write and spend their time?
Well it’s insulting to the craft, it’s demeaning the value of writing and books.
And how exactly is it doing that? How is an event that impassions thousands, I believe it’s hundreds of thousands of people, to write, and read, and adore books, demeaning books? Who exactly are you, to dictate how people must enjoy this incredible art? Who are you to define how people must write? Take a moment to look at the huge range of methods employed by the greats, by the classic authors and the modern bestsellers. No two authors are alike, and nor should they be.
NaNoWriMo is mostly teenagers writing sci-fi or fantasy because they have no life experience thus they have to make it all up.
Oh really? Is that so? Firstly, the vast majority of NaNoWriMo participants are over twenty. Secondly, are you seriously looking down your nose on speculative fiction and declaring that only immature inexperienced people write it? You clearly have absolutely no idea how much thought, experience, and work goes into creating entire worlds.
As it so happens I’m in my 30’s, an expat, and have a good amount of life experience. I’ve been abused, almost homeless, had a number of jobs in different fields and so on and so forth. I can name you ten other speculative fiction WriMos who also have a great deal of life experience. So stuff that where the sun don’t shine.
NaNoWriMo is not for everyone, but it’s not supposed to be for everyone. Like anything in this bright and wonderful world, some things work for some people, some things work for other people. Variety is the spice of life. To look down on NaNoWriMo and shrug it off with weak excuses is foolish at best, at worst it reeks of control issues. ‘How dare people enjoy something in a way I don’t?’
Yes. NaNoWriMo does produce some absolutely abysmal books. It also brings together a lot of people, some people who may discover an incredible passion and become a fantastic author. Others who for whatever reason can’t socialise normally, are finally able to meet people who understand them and brighten their life. There are hundreds of reasons people do NaNoWriMo. No one is forcing anyone to do it. It isn’t harming anyone. If you personally don’t want to do it, then don’t. Don’t look down on those of us who love it, just as I won’t look down on you for enjoying wearing pink tartan pants and playing golf.
Here are my NaNoWriMo books. Urban Fantasy, and written in under a month. Check them out on Amazon.