22 September 2009

National Novel Writing Month 2009 is in sight

First of all, I need to get a bit of promotion (not for me, but for something I love) out of the way. The dark comedy Observe and Report, starring Seth Rogen and written and directed by Jody Hill, came out today on DVD. I had pre-ordered my copy a few ago, and it was delivered to my doorstep fresh this morning. If you’ve read my review of the film from it’s opening weekend, you’ll know I think this is one of the funniest films of this decade—although it’s not a movie for people who prefer their comedies light and cheerful. For those who love the off-beat, the weird, and the frequently grotesque in their comedies, the film now awaits you for rental or purchase, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I immediately slapped my disc of the movie in the DVD player and ended up watching it all the way through. Brilliant, even with the initial shock value of the first viewing gone. So far this year, its only serious competition for my favorite movie of 2009 are Up and District 9.

Second, we are only six weeks away from the start of National Novel Writing Month 2009. (Popularly abrreviated as “NaNoWriMo.”) Last year was my first participation in this global writing event, where people across the world join together to boost each other to produce at least 50,000 words of a first draft of a novel during the month of November. I wrote about my reasons for joining last year, even though I already had written four novels previously. It was a thrilling experience, and the best time I’ve ever had writing a book. The novel I produced out of it, Orphans of Fenris, is one of my personal favorite works I’ve produced—although it still needs more revisions and fine-tuning. I needed the insane world of “brothers and sisters in writing alongside each other in writing combat” to help me produce a new book after a period of disappointment, and since last year’s NaNoWriMo I have had the single most productive writing year of my life. So I’m psyched, stoked, and ready to do the craziness again. I’ve got my new novel idea—at the moment titled Virginia Dare and the Old Gods—which is my first attempt at going for a more humorous and light-toned science-fiction work. I’m developing an outline and sketches for it… getting just enough set down to get me going, but not too much that the story gets rigidly frozen before I type the first word.

I encourage all my readers who have an interest in writing to sign up at NaNoWriMo’s website and give it a try. The accompanying book by NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty, No Plot? No Problem!, is recommending reading to prep yourself. Even if you don’t want to professionally publish a book, to actually write and complete the first draft of a novel is one of the most invigorating activities you can do. It’s like getting to the top of Everest or K2 or winning a triathlon. And you’ll have plenty of company in the task, probably many in your hometown willing to meet-up for “write-ins.”

If you do sign up, look me up under my screen name and make me a Writing Buddy. I’d love to have more friends along for the crazy ride.

As with last year, I’ll keep people posted on my progress on this blog during NaNoWriMo ‘09.