Wednesday, June 28, 2006
NaNoWriMo, And Camus (again)
A friend wrote to me the other day with a suggestion about this years National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). She suggests I do it, if not for the experience I suspect, but more for the networking opportunities it may present.
I read her email, scribbled the contents onto a small piece of brain tissue and inserted it into my 'To Be Read Again More Carefully' drawer inside my head. I left for work but the idea wouldn't remain in the drawer, closed away for long before it was rattling around wanting attention. So I started to think about it more carefully.
What I would write about or whether I could manage 50,000 words of a novel in a single month does not seem to be the driving factor. In fact, that isn't the worry. Two years ago I signed up for the project but never completed it. That may have been because I didn't make full use of the networking advantages or because I wasn't as committed as I maybe should have been. Either way, I never got what others seem to have got from it since.
But I also think that maybe it is something I should throw myself into and see what comes out at the other end. And I'm also thinking, maybe this is an opportunity to find out more about Jackie McCann. Where is he now that it is 11 years on from Hunting Jack? Bringing him into real-time is a mouth-watering prospect. Finding out how he has changed - or not changed - and throwing him into a brand new story is very, very tempting.
My only worry would be that I am accused of relying too much on one character. Shouldn't I create more and expand myself further in that way? Well, it didn't do Rankin, Welsh or Rowling any harm - so why can't I?
And then of course the networking side. I really need to meet more writers and talk with them, share ideas and opinions. Last year the only serious writer I met was Ian Rankin! Not bad, I hear you say, but it's not like I'm going to ring him up every couple of days to have a chat. I need to move outside my comfort zone, push myself further and expand. With the Fringe also coming up, it's all on my doorstep so what the hell am I waiting for?
Already this is becoming one of those tiny little seeds planted in my head, by a woman who probably knew fine well what she was doing when she suggested it to me. You know who you are. :-)
Speaking of Hunting Jack, I worked through a tonne of edits today. I'm approaching the conclusion of the story, and I've enjoyed the build up of tension as I have read it through. I believe it works well. The only thing nagging away at me is the ending. I want to leave the reader satisfied, but the current ending doesn't allow for that. It does allow for sequels, which is also a requirement. I suppose I'll have to write it through and see if the natural flow takes me to the same place the story is currently positioned. It's the only way.
I bumped into Nick (one of Gail's colleagues) today as I went to pick her up from work. He's been reading my blog and it seems that that book by Albert Camus, The Outsider, has had a profound effect on other people who have read it also.
We spoke about the book for a few minutes, and our conversation sparked more thoughts about the quality and genius that the book is. But what exactly? I am going to sit down after the weekend and attempt to break down the factors I think contribute into making the book one that simply will not be forgotten. What is it exactly that keeps causing it to drift into my head and sticking to the inside of my skull, from a writer's view. How did Camus achieve it? I'll let you know what I come up with.
I probably won't be blogging again until Sunday night or Monday. Reason being this weekend is my annual trip to Blackpool with my bro' Craig. We've been going every year now, on the same weekend, for 15 years. Staying in the same B&B (same room too!), going to the same bars in the same order, eating in the same places and just taking basically each other back to zero.
It sounds ridiculous and it might seem like that to outsiders (Camus again?), but to us it is a tradition that has grown to be an institution in our minds. It is a 'closed shop' and one that I think only us truly understand its meaning.
See you next week.