Monday, October 27, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

Well, after spending more often than not stagnated with regard to writing...writing anything, blogs, short stories, comedy, I have decided to do the stupid, the futile, the practically impossible- I have signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) at

What could make less sense than agreeing to write a 50,000 word novel (about 175 pages) in one month when you haven't been able to write 500 words once a month for years?

Nothing... nothing makes less sense, except NOT doing it.

To quote the great Eric "Otter" Stratton from Animal House, "This calls for a futile and stupid gesture... "

"...and we're just the guys to do it," was added by John "Bluto" Blutarski, if I recall correctly.

National Novel Writing Month was started by a complete lunatic by the name of Chris Baty 10 years ago, and last year 100,000 people agreed to surrender their Novembers to their NaNo novels. 15,000 of those actually "won", or completed their 50,000 word goals, 20,000 or so were self-committed to various insane asylums/rehabs/other professionally maintained facilities. The other 15,000 have not been heard from since.

Just kidding, but seriously... one suggestion was to inform everyone you know that you are doing this, with the hope that the humiliation of saying you are going to do something and failing will further motivate you to finish.

The goal is getting to 50,000 words, period. If anything you write is actually printable or usable, that is a huge bonus.

Most of us, myself definitely included, suffer mightily inder the hand of a nit-picky taskmaster, a tyrant who criticizes everything I do, and edits edits edits constantly. I can't complete a setnece, let alone a story, because it is never good enough, never makes enough sense, doesn't sound this way or that way.

Unfortunately, that critic, that taskmaster resides in my head, and thus far refused to leave in spite of several labotomes, and one small drill incision near the base of my skull (an ill-advised attempt to get him to slip out the back way.)

My hope is that I will flood him with so much bad writing, so many incomplete ideas, notions and plotlines, that he/it/whatever will have little choice but to be drummed out by excessive drivel. Each time my censor pipes in and claims something doesn't make sense/sound right/work, I am going to look at the number 50,000 in big bold black and move on. Hell, I may even write the same chapter two or three times just to fill space.

The rules are pretty basic. You can't start until Novemeber 1st, and must finish by midnight on Novemeber 30th in your time zone.

Editing is for December (that was just a reminder for me.)

So, I do need a little help. I have it narrowed down to two ideas from five.

Keep in mind, that I have (if I am lucky) an EXTREMELY LOOSE plot, and no outline at all.

"Under My Nose"- Girl dates many jerks. Girl sees random man commiting act of kindness. Girl follows, er... stalks random man. Does she find what she was always looking for? Something better? nothing at all? Who the heck is this guy? I don't even know yet, so how could you? Stop guessing already!

"It's All About Mac"- A self-absorbed alcoholic learns life lessons by caring for an autistic man.

Please let me know which story sounds less painful... I mean more riveting (I'm trying to be positive here!) to you

Other (pretty much dismissed) candidates were- "The Peasants"- A bunch of aging drunks and drug addicts in early recovery form a band. (The name The Peasants is taken from an actual punk rock band that I love.)

"The Mayor of Watsonville"- A small town man's simple kindnesses and wisdom affect his community for generations.

Okay- I know I have hardly been vigilant with the blog, but here's to hoping this ignites a fire under my rump.

If you go to and look up authors, you will find me if you search under "Korte".

This will take you to my homepage and you will be able to see my word count, and excerpts from my novel throughout November. I will also be updating this blog with my progress or lack there of.


Blogger GB said...

What are effn' nuts man?!?! Are you out of your freakin' mind?!?! Fifty-thousand words in a months!?!?! You must be some kind of idiot to take something like this on. Seriously, you need help.

I vote for "The Peasants" because I'd love to hear about how they all come together, or not. The other ideas seem limiting, but hey, I'm not the one imagining this stuff.

Good luck!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Korte said...

Well they are all really basic ideas, just to have a starting point, then they can go anywhere ( I hope)

1:54 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

I vote for "Under My Nose"

10:19 AM  
Blogger J.J. Leslie, Comedian said...

I am in the middle of finishing a memoir about my time as a bouncer, so, I regretfully could not handle another project of writing. But, I'd be happy to help edit at some point, give feedback. I am averaging about 15 pages a week, which is about an hour of writing a night for me. Finishing the novel in a month is not important, but 175 pages is a great start if you can get close. Most agents and authors I talk to say they don't really know what the book is ACTUALLY ABOUT until page 135.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Korte said...

JJ- that is awesome man. I bet you have some great stories about it.

I had a friend who was a bouncer at times, and just was a quiet "big guy" at the end of the bar other times. He was like 6'4" and was always afraid some idiot would pick a fight with him because he was the biggest guy in the bar.

I often thought a great name for a story like that would be "The Scardiest Guy in the Room" or something like that... amusing coming rom a guy most people would be terribly intimidated by.

Thanks for dropping in!

2:09 PM  
Blogger Dot Dwyer said...

Whatever you write about , it should include puppies. Maybe lost puppies who find their way home or puppies who like to jump and play and eat. Puppies, that's all you need to think about- Pal!You're welcome !

7:06 PM  

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