30 November 2009

this year in NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, the conclusion: this year's NaNoWriMo was for me both a breakthrough and a catastrophe. It was a breakthrough because I finally found an outlining style I liked and that seemed to be effective. It was not a catastrophe because I got so few words done, even though it's true the finally word count was only in the four-digit range — I've already "won" twice and like to think I've proven to myself that I can write 50,000 words in one month.

The catastrophe was that just around the middle of the month, I found out life was imitating art and that some central details to my story had become true for someone I know, someone who had no idea what my novel was about, or even that I was participating in NaNoWriMo. Ethically, I don't have any trouble with, say, taking a cool picture frame a friend owns and describing one just like it in a story (with a different photo in it and placing it in a different room than in real life). But I do worry when my story sounds just like something that actually happened, even if I did come up with my story first.

The one good thing that is coming out of this is that I now have a story on the go that is much less likely to be true. Or, if true, much less likely to have happened to someone I know personally.

I sincerely hope that last paragraph isn't tempting fate (or coincidence) too much.

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