An Examination Of NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo. (Inter)National Novel Writing Month. Or, as I like to call it, No One Writes Fanfic November.

What, were you expecting it to fit the acronym? What a quaint assumption.

And before I go on a random tangent about acronyms, let me just say that NaNoWriMo, other than sounding like a really strange Nanoha pairing when said out loud, is an absolutely great idea. Anything that encourages writing, thereby reinforcing basic literacy skills, imagination, creativity, and all that good stuff, is to be highly commended. There’s nothing like the beautiful sense of accomplishment of putting together more than 50,000 words and calling it a novel (and probably leaving it at that, since who wants to go through the hassle of shopping for publishers, setting up paypal accounts to try and publish it yourself as an ebook, editting, trying to put a cover on it, getting an ISBN number…).

That said, NaNoWriMo pretty much kills off the progress of most of the good fanfiction writers for a month, which really sucks.

It’s not even a great intellectual leap. The goods ones are those who see what they’re doing as a craft, an art, and gain great personal enjoyment from it. Most harbor, in their abnormal, unspeakable, blasphemous, ominous, chaotic, (other Lovecraftian adjectives), shipping, cracky little hearts of theirs, the dream of doing this for a living, of actually being PAID to do what they like especially when said like is an indoor activity with no heavy lifting or having to answer a phone every ten minutes, of being the next Cassandra Clare (who wrote Harry Potter Fanfiction before she made it big) or E.L. James (who took what was originally a Twilight Fanfic, rewrote it, and made a big fat stack of money and LIFE IS JUST NOT FAIR!!!!!). Thus, when an ‘event’ like NaNoWriMo occurs, they naturally gravitate towards it, seeing it as a challenge to all the skills they’ve honed (and really, once you have the characters and worlds established, it’s all plotting ability and writing skill, BABEH!).

This, of course, has the utterly predictable and quite depressing side-effect of having their fanfics (and therefore, their fanfic readers) quite neglected. And I suppose we shouldn’t really complain (though we will anyway, you can bet your shapely callipygian we will), because hey, who knows, maybe one of them WILL turn out to be the next Cassandra Clare or E.L.James. and they’ll break out an awesome series filled with exactly the stuff we like because, hey, they’re one of us, from our roots, and it will be Legen— wait for it— dary, and we’ll be writing fanfiction about their characters, and they’re finally going to be able to live the dream of writing a ‘fanfic’ with the disclaimer reading “I own everything and everyone in this story. Yeah, you read that right, this is mine, all mine, BWAHAHAHAHA! And all this is canon, baby! Especially the lemon scenes!” (Okay, maybe not, but I TOTALLY intend to write fanfics with that in my disclaimer when I make it big), thereby causing one to consider the philosophical conundrum: if you write about an intellectual property that’s legally yours on a fanfiction site, is it still really a fanfic?

Hmm, was that a sidetrack, or was I being long-winded (typed?) again?

Anyway, my metaphorical hat is off to my frantically writing Wrimo bretheren and sisteren pounding away on their keyboards and who I TOTALLY intend to join next year (really I do, really, it’s just I was super busy this year, and now that it’s the third of November I’m way behind, but definitely next year…). May you all reach that not-really-all-that-elusive-and-definitely-no-doorstopper-much-less-a-Wheel-Of-Time-book-50,000-words-mark, and I’d just like to say: “IMMI, SEREG, PLEASE FINISH SOON SO YOU CAN GET BACK TO WRITING NEGIMA!”

This is Shadow, signing off…