Sunday, 21 September 2008


The ould clock is tickin'. It'll be here soon. get your typing fingers ready. Write a novel in a month!

This'll be my third year of entry. I haven't completed the course; crossed the finish line (whatever) but I am fascinated by what pours out in the early phases of this strange adventure. Free writing is a good way of getting rid of the writer censor perched on the shoulder - you can't do that; that's not how you spell 'mendacious'; and you call yourself a writer; hang yourself whydoncha?

Last year I saw criticism of people who freewrote for the entire month. The people who criticised freewriters said that the fifty thousand words and beyond should be plotted and coherent. That meant - to my mind - that these writers sat down every night on their honour and wrote coherently without previously plotting or laying out narrative structures and finished (I suppose) a 50K + novel. I worry about people that could do that.

I know that when Kerouac pumped out On the Road in three weeks Truman Capote said, "That's not writing. That's typing."

That is a smart, funny comment. But it seems to me that even if Kerouac was speeding and buzzing, whizzing, flying along on with his teletype roll keying out On the Road, he was left at the end of his run with a huge raw lump of material. Surely no one is suggesting that it all arrived in the bookshops without editing.

Now hang on, wasn't the unedited mind splurge of tijean to be released unedited this year or last year. (update - according to Amazon, Viking did publish the unexpurgated roll in 2007)

Here's nanowrimo to be getting on with. The site might be in lockdown mode at the moment but sure you can lok for yourself and bookmark the site. Remember you are on your honour not to have the whole novel laid out in your head or on your corkboard before you start in November.

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