Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange in three weeks. Alexander Dumas wrote the first volume of Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge in three days. So why shouldn’t you be able to knock out an entire novel in a month? Sure, As I Lay Dying took a month and a half, but Faulkner was drunker than you. I hope. LET NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH BEGIN!
Here’s how #NaNoWriMo works: you know how writing a novel is something everyone wants to have done, but requires a large dose of committed hard work and eventually most people quit? Well, #NaNoWriMo streamlines that process with an arbitrary time constraint that makes writing fiction an even more difficult, joyless, mechanical effort—plus you’re expected to be constantly social networking about the novel-in-progress, which should help slow you down a bit more.
At the end, if you’ve finished (and even if you have, you haven’t), you and 1.3 million other aspiring authors all mail your towering manuscripts on December 1 to Farrar, Straus & Giroux, where a slush pile intern will methodically dissolve each one with tears of acidic, impotent frustration. Welcome to the world of publishing! Toast yourself with a mid-shelf bourbon.
Oh, and if you’re having trouble with your first sentence, might I suggest cruising the #NaNoWriMoOpeners tag on Twitter? Lots of good, plagiarisim-worthy ideas in there.
Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.