It’s November, and we all know what that means: NaNoWriMo. (All right, maybe not all of us. Some might have thought of that turkey holiday first. Bud Selig clearly thinks of November as World Series month.) NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writers Month, which, frankly, doesn’t speak well of the writers who named it, if it has to be explained in such a manner.
NaNoWriMo was intended to get people off their tuccheses and write. The goal is to produce a 50,000 word novel in a month. That’s 1,667 words a day on average if you’re counting, and you are, if you’re involved in NaNoWriMo.
The problem I have with NaNoWriMo—aside from the name—is that it encourages people to settle for whatever dreck they think of out of the chute, because they don’t have time to edit anything in a meaningful manner. We have more than enough shitty books already. We need less of them, not more.
Sure, participants can edit their books later. I’ll bet damn few of them do. People with the stamina and self-discipline to do a decent editing job don’t need a gimmick to get them writing in the first place. They sit their asses down and write.
A lot of people enjoy NaNoWriMo, and I don’t want to spoil their fun by acting more of a prick than usual. Have a ball. Just remember one thing: the real writing starts December 1. Assuming you intend to write an actual book, and not merely to participate in the world’s longest writing exercise.