All right, so, as threatened, I went to Starbucks. I had sort of an epiphany in the shower as to why Kevin was visiting, since I scrapped his previous storyline, and the scene just unfolded before me. It was another “chills down the spine, must write right now” kind of moment, which makes at least three in just this week. It’s been a good NaNoWriMo so far. I actually wrote a good chunk of the scene before ever leaving the house, but then finished it up in the wonderful pay-wifi-thus-distraction-free world that is Starbucks.
I have 2,588 words for the day so far, and it shouldn’t be difficult to write that last 600 that will take me to 20K! That’s happy news.
On another note, I’m adding a new category to my blog, “The Creative Process of Writing”, so called because my senior project in high school was a creative/research paper on just such a topic. I’ve always loved musing on how and why writers write, and listening to, or reading about other writer’s creative process. (Someday, not today, I’ll post some excerpts from it–I found it recently by accident, and reading it over I was sort of blown away by how cool it was, and really, how very cool my high school was for allowing me to write and submit something of the sort as a senior project. I think most high schools, even progressive schools, would expect something far more conventional, even from a creative project.)
But anyway, driving back home from the Starbucks, I was listening to a recent I Should Be Writing podcast, which is put out by the amazing and generous Mur Lafferty. This particular one was episode #104, an interview with Benjamin Rosenbaum, who I know for his story “Ant King”, which was featured in another podcast, PodCastle (go now, and just read the excerpt they provide. No really, I’ll wait. Then download the episode, because the rest of the story is just as good.)
Anyway, Rosenbaum said something really neat in the interview. He said, (talking about writing novels vs. writing short stories)
“One of the funny things about it is that the experience of reading a novel and the experience of writing a short story are about the same scale. You know, you kind of pick it up on Monday, and you know, you’re kind of getting really into the characters by Tuesday, and then you have to stop and catch the bus and go to work, but you pick it up again Thursday evening, and by the next weekend, it’s like, ‘wow, that was really satisfying’…. But the experience of writing a novel is like… watching several season arcs of some long t.v. show, it’s just much bigger in scale, it’s like reading the Mahabharata unedited. It’s a really really long thing that nothing in your pre-writing life prepares you for.”
I’ve just never thought of novel-reading/writing in quite those terms before, and I thought it was very appropriate quote for NaNoWriMo.
Also, by the way, he’s got a book of his short stories, including “Ant King” out that you can also download as a free PDF, and he’s running a derivative works contest based on his stories, through March 3, 2009. After November, I might have to play with something around the idea of yellow gumdrops, an image which has stuck in my mind as one of the most beautiful and compelling mental images writing has ever provoked for me. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back and read the excerpt, already!) In the interview, he compares his writing to the movie Being John Malkovich, which is also a favorite of mine, so if that’s the sort of thing you like, you should check out Benjamin Rosenbaum.
All right, enough talk. Back to writing.