Friday, July 31, 2009

Abandon All Hope

I am a writing freak.

You know those teenagers you read about who play video games until two and get up again at five to do some more before school? And you think when you read about it that you're glad that's not your child, and you would certainly have something to say if Timmy (or George, or Fred, or Wolfgang- I'm not picky) ever tried that- or if you're my mom, "Where are their parents?"

That's me.

I'm not too excited about video games. We own a lot, mostly because the Principal likes the idea of having them accessible to play at any time- as if he ever had any time- so I have been exposed. I usually break them out every two months or so, play one for two to eight hours, get bored, and abandon it. (The result being that I've only ever finished a game once. And that was Magic Pengel, so it doesn't really count. That was drawing practice. Art, practically.) I'm not capable of sitting that still for that long doing nothing but hold a controller and stare at a screen.

But I am capable of sitting for ten to twelve hours at my computer with my fingers on the keyboard typing eighty words a minute. Go figure.

But because the Teacher needs her kitchen help, and revokes my reading privileges when I spend too much time writing (ie, time I should be spending on chores), I like to do occasional writing marathons. Just to shake the kinks out, get an extended writing buzz (you can get high on plot twists. It's true), and incidentally get the week off of school.

There's this thing called NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month.) It's in November, which is perhaps the worst possible month they could have chosen. You sign up online, and on midnight, November 1st, you start writing. Not before. On midnight on the last day of November, you stop. You submit your word count. If you got 50,000 or more words, you get a shiny certificate.

But if you skip school, chores (or work), eating, and a little bit of sleep, you can actually write 50,000 words in one week. I've done it at least three times now. (I lose count.) The story might suck, but it's fun and a very good way to learn a lot fast.

But because I'm competitive and over-ambitious and possibly brain-damaged, I've decided to raise the bar.

100,000 words. Beginning tomorrow midnight. Ending next week on midnight Friday.

Let the sleep deprivation begin.

(I plan to post my wordcount and where I am in the story multiple times a day. Just because I won't have the mental capacity to think of anything else. Prepare yourself.)

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