I hit 20k! :)
anghard's post and didn't really ever get round to writing it.
These days I'm getting lazy. All I do is sit there and type in about 2000 words of crap each day, convincing myself that (it's okay! I can edit this, like, later! Right now it's important to get the words down...) it'll all be fine and (no, seriously, I bet people want to read about cross-dressing guys and flying zombies!) somehow it'll all work out.
A little while ago I mentioned a post inspired by
Here you go, I guess.
Note: this is a fairly long and emo post. And then again I could be just stressing about nothing. You know how it goes. Procrastination is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
All things are, eventually, down to whether people like them or not.
This is inevitable. We're put on this world for others.
The 'like' factor is what makes being a novelist such a bum job. It makes publishing a silly and risky business, plus now with all the heavy competition it's not terribly likely that your book will even make it to the shelf, let alone sell.
Considering all this, it's not surprising that a lot of people write and then don't publish. Because it's depressing, you know. You think of all the greats - Gaiman, Feist, Rowling, Pratchett - and you look at your poor unpublished MS, and then you think: God, I suck. How will I ever compare up next to these?
Possibly after this you go and drink yourself to death or eat chocolate until you explode. Or you head out on the streets with a gas mask and a baseball bat and play Whack-A-Stranger. Or you put your pen down and catch the latest plane, maybe to Zululand, where they've never heard of those weird things people call books. And then you feel better. Much better.
But I digress.
Thing is, I want to publish my book. Ever since I started NaNo, I've had this eventual goal in mind. If this MS pulls through to the end, I may join NaNoPubYe and see how it goes.
This has made me think a lot. I don't think it's very suitable for publication myself. Currently it is a load of campy crap. But after heavy editing, who knows? Maybe there do exist people in this world ready to fork out RM40.00 (that's about $10 to you) for something immature and weird.
I may be too young to understand the connotations of this, but I believe I am a novelist.
Okay. Wait. Before I embarrass myself with further declarations ('I'm still wearing training bras!') of any sort ('My mom says I'm actually an accidental birth!') let us define what a novelist is.
After that, feel free to call me simple-minded and long-winded. Go on. Sticks and stones done broke my bones a long time ago, jerkface.
Anyway. Here's my definition of a novelist:
!) Someone with basic writing skills and the capacity to flow from one idea to another without running into the metaphorical brick wall, who can write long and wordy things and manage to work scenes which have a weird relevance to the plot in. Somehow.
2) Perseverance. Not 'someone who perseveres.' The word perseverance practically embodies a novelist - never gives up, never quits even though she's deep in the murky brown stuff. (Sorry, had to avoid an intermittent rhyme there.)
Someone who just keeps on plugging away at it. Someone who's often depressed, but hey - whatcha know, she's back on her feet on the next second.
3) Someone with something to share. It can be a story or a personal ideology or a vision. Anything. The novelist pours a little, no actually quite a lot of her soul into her work for people, and for herself.
It's an unselfish thing. The novelist is someone who doesn't care about what people think, only that she has laid her heart out on paper. For better or for worse.
4) Someone with a lot of brain space available that needs filling up.
If you put it that way, then I guess I'm a novelist.
I want to finish this story and publish it because it's something I've always wanted to do.
Then again, if I'm absolutely honest with you... maybe I'm not so much of a novelist after all. I'm partially breaking part three of the definition. I confess that to me, novelling is a partly selfish action - sometimes,deep down, I know I'm doing this more for the recognition that comes with having published a novel. And if it comes to that, I know I'm breaking the rules of my own advice.
I'm 14, dammit. I'm allowed to fantasize about popularity.
Also, there was this teenaged girl in my state who recently published a book. Last year, I think. She was featured briefly in the newspapers and being an idiot, I was naturally extremely jealous of her.
I was at the 'jealous hater/fan/stalker' stage. I read through her book over and over again and pointed out all her mistakes and dissed her to anyone who would listen, trying to convince myself that she was just some jumped-up kid and I was so obviously much better than her, I mean like hello, I was the novelist of my time, I was precocious, okay... and so on. I told myself I could kick her pink little butt any time I wanted. And I was happy.
And this makes me question myself, and my motives.
It's that 'for me or for people' debate again.
I know that I should be doing it for myself, of course. I just can't wean myself off those visions of glory.
When I was younger (read: one year ago) I used to act like I was being interviewed about my novel in front of the mirror, pretending that I was facing someone who was incredibly and deeply in love with the book I wrote and who ached to know about the colour of my MC's undies and what they ate for supper. And I answered them (read: me) in great detail.
Yes, I was that obnoxious. Bite me.
If it's not for the fame or the recognition, then what is it for? That's the question.
I don't really have an answer to that.
The best I can say is: because I'd like to let people see what I see and think what I think and live in my world, just for a little while. And that's not really the true answer. That's hidden away somewhere in my brain, but for now it's the best I can do.
NaNo works so very well for me because I'm finally getting around to writing that elusive novel. It forces me, as anghard says, to write constantly. This staves off the depression that swings round when I write sporadically. It's great.
But, like any other fabulous author (oh, I'm sorry. That should have been 'narcissistic, self-centered, egoistical twerp'. I've no idea how it slipped through my fingers), I thrive on feedback. I love to share, especially with my work - and especially if people like it.
That's why writing on the Internet is so addictive. You strut your literary stuff and people comment about it ... don't you get that lovely high?
And that brings us, eventually, to my main problem.
If I get this current MS published, my Sim Stories are going to be tipped quite unceremoniously down the drain. I'm using characters both from Marionette Mambo and definitely from the (not even started) RiverNapping and it seems like an awful waste of space, time and effort should I scrap these two stories.
On the other hand, I can't update on either of those any more because finishing both those stories would mean I would be unable to publish the manuscript. And this, also, seems like a terrible waste.
I don't want to focus mainly on just one story too early, too. Scrapping the stories will force me to do this. I hate it. It makes everything far too serious, and it makes me lose concentration.
I start thinking more about what the characters mean to me and less about who they really are, and more about what the story could mean and less about what is is ... in short, it's a lot like falling in love with your best friend. You end up idealizing something already terribly familiar, and the result is a clash of perceptive. Your head says one thing and your heart says another.
In the end, you wind up disillusioned.
I made the mistake of doing that once. (Focusing too much on my novel, not falling in love with my best friend.) I will never, never do that again. I should get the word 'never again' tattooed back to front on my forehead so that every time I look in the mirror I'll be reminded of it.
I don't know.
So.... to publish or not to publish?
Oh the drama of dilemma.