Thursday, May 13, 2010

NaNoWriMo Versus NaHeShoMo

While I surfed around today, I came across this site called 101 Reasons to Stop Writing: The fundamentals of our publishing are wrong.

How could I possibly pass up something with such an angsty stance?  My morbid curiosity won me over and I read on.

One article by Stephen Harris talked about a sudden surge in the slush pile publishers get at the beginning of December. Many of the manuscripts ended very near 50,000 words, sometimes stopping in the middle of  a sentence to hit 50,000 words on the nose. Most of these submissions were particularly bad, almost unreadable. Mr. Harris mentioned the timing of the slush pile as coming right after major changes in the publishing world on a corporate level, as if that might possibly have been the catalyst. He then said that, according to major editors, no one is sure what is causing this early December increase.


Obviously Mr. Harris and his sources have never heard of NaNoWriMo. Individuals who responded to the article mentioned that possibility right away. What smart readers, and, with a few, even sassy readers. This particular comment by Dan Starr put me on the floor laughing:

You’re absolutely correct that writing like mad (especially without concern for plot, characters, setting, grammar and composition) is fun. So is shooting up heroin (or so I’m told), but that doesn’t mean we should have a “National Heroin Shooting Month.” A “National Heroine Shooting Month,” in which we put the female lead characters of badly-written novels out of our misery, is another matter.

I have never considered this before: could NaNoWriMo be a BAD thing? What are the pros and cons of a challenge that asks people to plow through a whole month writing like mad?

I am also curious if anyone else has thoughts on the comparison between NaNoWriMo and "National Heroin Shooting Month" or even "National Heroine Shooting Month."

Perhaps the biggest question of all is: Who exactly are these editors with no clue as to why their slush piles double the first week of December? If they don't know about NaNoWriMo, perhaps their heads are too far in the publishing world sand to be of interest to me.

1 comment:

  1. There's nothing wrong with plowing through 50,000 words in a month. There is A LOT wrong with submitting those 50K, unedited on December 1st. THAT'S the problem with NaNoWriMo. It should be followed by NaNoEdMo in December.

    - Liz