November 28, 2009
I have written a book.
It is not very good. The plot is scattered. The characters, undeveloped. The spelling is bad and the grammar is muddled. The ending ? Well, it blows. It is not yet fit to be read by others and it is basically an embarrassment of literary nature. BUT, the process, has been overwhelmingly rewarding. When I signed up with NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) I had no idea what I was in for. The only rule was to do your best to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I did not reach that goal but I did get very close. I still have 48 hours left but unless I find a way to write 5000 words in each of those days I won't be hitting the 50,000 word goal.
It's taken far more structure, commitment, time and ...uh...talent than I had imagined. After years of reading fiction I was sure I could write just as well as any of those other puffed up buffoons. WRONG WRONG and WRONG. Two hours in and I realized I knew nothing about the art of conversation or the development of the story's protagonist ("protagonist" is the story's main character. Don't feel bad, I had to look it up too.) I had no clue how to adequately describe a physical setting . Just because I could see it in my head did not mean I could put in down on paper well enough to allow the reader to see it too. I kept at it though. I selfishly blocked a week out of my life and other lives around me so I could concentrate on this goal. I sacrificed clean toilets and swept floors. I left a lot of work for others. I have done only miniscule amounts of Christmas shopping. Usually by this time of year I am done.
Halfway though, when I thought I had a handle on where the story was going it became less analytical and more emotional. What started out to be a story about some family became a story about my family. I didn't plan to go there and I'm not sure if I'll stay there. I still have lots of work ahead of me. Statistics to validate, places to locate, run on sentences to cremate and scenes to narrate. Next month I will start the first of what will probably be several rewrites.
But, I have written a book.
Grandson Wesley and his GREAT Uncle John demonstrating how we can all reach for the stars with a little support from the people who love us.