Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I am not going to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I've included the link in this post in case it's useful to you. As the website explains,

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality.....Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

I am convinced I write the worst drafts in the world. (Just kidding! I'm sure yours are just as bad.) Still, I don't wish to attempt to produce volume. I like stories that don't waste words. In theory, I could winnow the words produced by a month of NaNoWriMo. I suspect that after the winnowing, I wouldn't have much left with which to work.

I want some sort of short-term writing goal, though. With that in mind, I shall start LoStoWriMo, pronounced "Lost-o-Rhyme-o." It stands for Local Story Writing Month. Every day in the month of November, I will post an original short story. Each story may be five paragraphs, two paragraphs, six words long-- who knows? I'll do it. Last weekend, when I attended an all-day storytelling workshop with Nancy Mellon and Ashley Ramsden, I found that I could tell an extemporaneous story if someone else gave me a few nouns to work with. A few years ago, I had a regular feature by which readers would give me words, and then I'd write stories inspired by them. (You may read some of them here, here, and here.

For LoStoWriMo/Lost-o-Rhyme-o, I invite you to fill the word bank for my stories. I ask that the words you submit be solid, flavorful nouns. (Nouns that are ideas are welcome, but please try to avoid the "Stump the Storyteller" mentality.)Please don't feel any obligation to leave critiques or feedback on the stories. However, if you felt compelled to leave a calling card along the lines of "Marked as read," I'd know that you stopped by, and I'd be glad.


Lone Star Ma said...

That is so cool. I can't wait to read them (though I want to read your novel, too)! Some words: foam, zest, honey.

I am not going to participate in NaNoWriMo, as any ideas I may have for novels are nowhere near the top of my list of books I want to get out....but I think I may use it as inspiration to try to finish Baby Moon, a non-fiction book that I have been chipping away at in a mostly lackluster way for the past 5 years or so. Wish me luck!!!!

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I love this! A treat to look forward to all of November. Some more words to add to LSM's: pomegranate, harp, bookseller.

Re: NaNoWriMo, I have tried it twice and been forced to admit that my natural mode of writing is polish-as-you-go, and that it does no good to attempt otherwise. But mayeb there's something else I can do every day in November?

tanita davis said...

I cannot do the NaNoWriMo thing. I loathe it, it does seem like I'm suffocating in...well, craptastic writing. And I can't see the point of producing it in volume. I have to polish as I go -- or I can't go forward. Shovel and pitch or there's no place to walk, if you get my meaning. I like your idea better, and I wish you the best with it. We have to take creativity as ours and work with it as the muse works with us.

(If you made a muse doll, would she have typewriter keys? Or a stylus and an inkwell?)

Saints and Spinners said...

Anamaria and LoneStar Ma: I've collected all of the nouns you've donated so far, plus I nicked a few from Tanita's comment. I edited my post from its original form because I didn't want to come across as snide to the friends for whom NaNoWriMo is actively helpful. However, I do think that a book like The Artist's Way that takes twelve weeks, not 30 days, would ultimately be more helpful. Morning pages-- whereby every morning you just keep your hand moving to fill up three pages-- helps skim the sludge off the surface of the brain.

Tanita: The muse dolly would probably have a stylus and an inkwell. I think I would need tweezers to stitch a typewriter.

Schelle said...

fantastic idea - I'm jealous! Still slogging through the last of my study so haven't started my nanowrimo yet... love this idea and may steal it next year.

Some evocative words... hmmm. Can't seem to think of nouns. How about six adjectives:

Savory, plump, ancient, distant, intriguing, shallow.

adrienne said...

How fun!

I find that things like NaNoWriMo sound like something that maybe I should do, but really they just stress me out. The LAST thing I need in my life is more pressure and structure. I like this, though--it's playful. Play is good.