Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Novelist Agreement

****************************************************************************************************************************************I took this from Chris Baty's book, No Plot? No Problem!

(Please see my two previous posts for more details about National Novel Writing Month/NaNoWriMo and this book).

I hereby pledge my intent to write a 50,000-word novel in one month's time. By invoking an absurd, month-long deadline on such an enormous undertaking, I understand that notions of "craft," "brilliance," and "competency" are to be chucked right out the window, where they will remain, ignored, until they are retrieved for the editing process. I understand that I am a talented person, capable of heroic acts of creativity, and I will give myself enough time over the course of the next month to allow my innate gifts to come to the surface, unmolested by self-doubt, self-criticism, and other acts of self-bullying.
During the month ahead, I realize I will produce clunky dialogue, cliched characters, and deeply flawed plots. I agree that all of these things will be left in my rough draft, to be corrected and/or excised at a later point. I understand my right to withhold my manuscript from all readers until I deem it completed. I also acknowledge my right as author to substantially inflate both the quality of the rough draft and the rigors of the writing process should such inflation prove useful in garnering me respect and attention, or freedom from participation in onerous household chores.
I acknowledge that the month-long, 50,000-word deadline I set for myself is absolute and unchangeable, and that any failure to meet the deadline, or any effort on my part to move the deadline once the adventure has begun, will invite well-deserved mockery from friends and family. I also acknowledge that, upon successful completion of the stated noveling objective, I am entitled to a period of gleeful celebration and revelry, the duration and intensity of which may preclude me from participating fully in workplace activities for days, if not weeks, afterward.
Signed_____________________________ Date__________________________
(Please see my 2 previous posts for more details regarding NaNoWriMo and Chris' book) .
As you can see, I haven't signed on the line yet.
Regarding the pumpkin in the photo above: I mentioned that I'd like to have a pumpkin to carve because I love the smell of a candle burning inside the hollowed out cavity. I was thinking of a little pumpkin. Lon bought this one when he was out and about. I guess I should have been more specific!


Gullible said...

Go for it, Shads.

There once was a writer named Shaddy,
Who signed an agreement with Baty,
She typed all November
Ev'ry word she remembered,
And was pleased when it turned out so badly.

Shaddy said...

Gully: There once was a writer named Gully,
She was a kind gal, never a bully.
Re:NaNoWriMo she said "do it, Shaddy,"
oes she know that I might go batty?

Shaddy said...

Gully: Stick a "D" in front of "oes" in the last line. I reckon I've already gone!!!

Gullible said...

There once was a writer named Shaddy
Who wrote till she thought she'd go batty.
She asked for some pills
To cure all her ills,
But her dither was all from ennui.

Mary Anne Gruen said...

Congrats! In theatre they say to break a leg. They say that because they're afraid that wishing someone luck could actually be bad luck. Actors! What do they say in writing? Break a key?

I learned to write faster when I was writing fanfiction. I basically promised to get out a chapter a week to a 400,000 word book. I learned a lot from fanfiction.

Break a key!

Anonymous said...

My fingers are twitching,
my creative mind itching,
I can't wait to write,
with 50,000 in sight.

So what if I fail,
I like chasing my tail,
To produce a good book,
write a perfect hook.

This rhyme may be silly,
kinda pompous and frilly,
that's the writing we make
with this challenge we take.

Wow! Now I know why I don't write poetry! I think I'll stop here.

Thanks for putting the contract up for all to read. I haven't sprung for the book yet, but after reading your excerpt I am pretty sure I will own a copy by the end of the week.

Shaddy said...

Mary Anne: ...or perhaps they tell writers to "break a finger" when wishing them luck! Who knows? "Break a key" works too. Thanks.
Mercy! You've had a whole lot of practice in rapid writing! NaNoWriMo would be a piece of cake for you.

darksculptures: I like your poem. Did you read my previous post? No Plot? No Problem! It's got several of Chris' thoughts.