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an impossible feat

October 28, 2005

superhero me

Some things:

  1. In the week before Tokyo, on returning to the island for taiko practice, I finally had the opportunity to dress up as a superhero. It was the annual triathlon, and so I – along with four others – had the important job of dressing as a superhero and giving people high-fives as they got off the boat.
  2. My new job has been going fine so far.
  3. Lately, the thing I have been waking up in a cold sweat about is that I appear to have agreed to participate in NaNoWriMo — or ‘National Novel-Writing Month’. Which means writing a 50,000 word novel in one month, the idea being to stop pretending that you might write something perfect one day, and just get on with writing something imperfect-but-actual. Which I think is a nice idea, but there is another part of my brain that balks at the prospect of spending a month writing a pile of complete balls. Still, it should be an interesting experiment, and I’m hoping the fact that a couple of friends are doing it as well will make it a fun one too. And I am explicitly reserving the right to bail out and cut my losses if the first 10,000 words I write turn out to be utter, utter rubbish.

So… is anyone else up for writing a novel?

Incidentally, part of the reason I want to do this is because I’ve been wanting to make some music under a tight time-constraint for a long time, and I think this could be a nice (though in almost every way scarier) dry run (the music thing will wait until I get back to the UK). This idea was partly inspired by reading the Crap Art Manifesto of a certain Mr. Tom 7 (who makes both free fonts and free music software that I sometimes use, and which I was shocked one day to discover were the work of the same person). Tom 7’s idea of an ‘Album-A-Day‘ is possibly taking things a bit too far in terms of quantity over quality (although it’s something I’d like to try one day too), but I think an Album-in-a-Month (NaNoWriMo style) would be a pretty exciting thing to try…

posted in Okinawa6 comments


  1. Posted by may — October 28, 2005 at 2:11 am

    good luck!

  2. Posted by lva — October 28, 2005 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks! I’ll need it.

    (actually I was just explaining ‘Good luck’, ‘Thanks, I’ll need it’ in school earlier today, so I’m glad to have an opportunity to use that phrase. Simple things, simple minds, and so on…)

  3. Posted by Andrew — October 28, 2005 at 7:10 pm

    What a brilliant and also stupid idea! What is your novel going to be about?

    I want to write one. You have to come up with a great first line though, which can take ages.

    The first novel I tried to write, when I was six, started ‘It was morning, but it was as dark as a money tube’. I could continue that one. I’d have to work out what it means though.

  4. Posted by lva — October 28, 2005 at 8:06 pm

    A money tube! I will certainly not be able to match that for a first line. You should try it, I reckon! The more people I know who are doing it, the more likely it is to be fun. Plus there is a secret web-location where we (and a couple of others) can post extracts and complain about what a pain it is to be writing such a ridiculous thing.

    My novel, I think, might be about a robot who is really more-or-less just exactly a person. Only an artificial person. And who maybe works in a restaurant or retail outlet of some sort. And a homeless man in the real world who is watching snowflakes come down and crowds of people go past. I’m not quite sure how these two stories intertwine yet, but I think I might start the story with a man careering down a rainswept neon street on a bicycle before being suddenly hit by a speeding car driven by a screaming man in a rabbit mask. I think the man in the rabbit mask might connect the stories. Somehow.

    That’s all I’ve really got so far. And only three days left before it’s time to start writing…

  5. Posted by Andrew — October 28, 2005 at 9:01 pm

    That sounds like an excellent start! Blimey. I think if you can link those two stories, the interface words could be very interesting indeed.

    I like this idea. I don’t like to imagine people I know reading my low-quality novel though. Still, it might make sure I don’t try to attempt anything *too* embarrassing.

    All the stories I can think of involve people a lot like me, but whose lives are more interesting, and who can think more quickly. I’m going to have to do better than that.

    Do you know, what I wrote before was a typo – it wasn’t a money tube, for goodness’ sake, it was a monkey tube! What in hell would a money tube be? Yes, monkey tubes: those are the dark places.

  6. Posted by lva — October 29, 2005 at 1:47 pm

    Aha! But no-one else has to read your low-quality novel. I don’t think I’m planning on anyone reading mine – maybe just short extracts of some of the bits that are more readable or at least surprising. I really like the Crap Art idea that the creation of something artistic is more important than its consumption, and that it’s worth something just to produce something even if no-one ever reads / looks at / listens to it.

    Monkey tube. Are those the tubes that monkeys come out of? Which most people can’t see? Those certainly are dark, dark places.