2 comments on “So you’re thinking of doing NaNoWriMo this year?

  1. > Have a story idea in your head that you love. You’ll come to hate it before the November is done

    Six tries, six victories. This has not happened to me. Not once.

    And I’m sorry to have to contradict all those smug bloggers you love to read who have appointed themselves arbiters of what is a novel, but 50K *IS* a novel.

    50K is a fucking novel.

    The Mourner by Richard Stark. 48000 words.

    A Savage Place by Robert B Parker. 55000 words.

    The Prisoner Of Zenda by Anthony Hope. 54000 words.

    Have a look at the old British thrillers. They’re thin. You know why? Because they’re the right length.

    Add ten minutes to Ramones, you dilute the power of it. Is it an EP?

    The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney is 70min. Are you going to claim it’s a short film?

    If you know – and you should be able to figure out – when and how and *why* 80K became the “official” (in the words of bloggers, “industry” people, and other liars) length of a novel, then you know it has nothing to do with storytelling, nothing to do with creativity, nothing to do with anything that matters.

    Whose are these people to decide what writing is?


    • For whatever reason the “standard” was extended. I find 50K a little light for a novel.
      What’s the “right: length?

      I’m not being smug here, but I do think that you have to consider your market. I would like to eventually sell my book through a publisher (whether I will or not is another matter) so that means that for me and my goals, a novel length is around 80K, maybe 100K. That’s how I’m thinking of novel length, how my market considers it…for whatever reason.

      If I was publishing myself (which might happen as well), then basically, the length of the novel is the length of my story. It if feels right at 50K, then it’s 50K. That hasn’t happened yet.

      > Six tries, six victories. This has not happened to me. Not once.

      I do not think this is the case with most people, especially on their first try. I grant you that this is opinion from anecdotal evidence and is hardly empirical, but I never pretended to be any kind of arbiter on anything. Are you trying to tell me that you’ve never been frustrated while writing your NaNoWriMo stories? I envy you.

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