Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Quick Thought as NaNoWriMo Approaches

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, or The Most Insane November Ever, or "One Ridiculously Crazy Way to Spend a Month that Contains a Holiday Preceding a Month that Contains the Holiday," is approaching. Sure, it's still a couple of months away, but the anticipation around here is palpable. Part of the interest and excitement is due to the fact that Stacy will be our Municipal Liaison (ML) this year. Essentially, she is the person responsible for coordinating write-ins and other events among all the NaNo participants in our area. She's really good at organizing groups and coordinating events so it should be a really good year.

Not to bore you with all the details, but each November we set out to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The idea is that there is never time to write the story that's in you, so just take a short period of time, go crazy, and get it on paper. You can go back and edit it later. Just get the story out.

We started in 2009 and have done it each year since then. In that time I've written a historical novel based on some extended family experiences, a somewhat silly fantasy novel aimed at the tween crowd, a novel that Stacy and I wrote together (which if I may say, is actually pretty good--it's my favorite so far), and a biographical work. Trust me. There is nothing magnificent in there, but a lot of pretty good stuff.

So today Stacy shares this really cool tool with me. You input some of your writing--a blog post, journal entry, short story, whatever--and then it will analyze the writing and compare it to some well-known author. Naturally, I had to try it.

First of all, I input my blog post about Yoga. The result? Cory Doctorow, science fiction and postcyberpunk author of a number of novels and short stories. I did some reading about him and now feel compelled to read something by him.

Secondly, I analyzed my blog post about parent-child genetics and how I Don't Know @#$%!. Stephen King. I'm more than a little disturbed that my landmark essay on the mysteries of genetic inheritance has a horror bent, but hey, I love his book On Writing, so maybe I'm onto something . . .

Lastly, I decided that I'd input the first chapter of The Accidental Hero, the fantasy novel I wrote. Drum roll please . . .

Mark Twain.

Yeah, we may share a name, but I'm thinking the similarity ends there. I'll take the compliment, though, even if it is from a computer algorithm I've only known for about an hour.

Me

File:Mark Twain, Brady-Handy photo portrait, Feb 7, 1871, cropped.jpg
Mr. Twain
(detail of photo by Matthew Brady, from Wikipedia.com)

We probably look more alike than our writing does.

I wonder if I can put this on my résumé . . .

6 comments:

Boquinha said...

Ha! Awesome.

I think our book is my favorite, too. Looking forward to writing together again.

This is my 2nd year being ML - so excited for my swag! Neon is so me.

I'd take the Stephen King thing as a compliment a la "On Writing." :)

That gadget told me I write like Neil Gaiman, David Foster Wallace, and Cory Doctorow.

The Magic Violinist said...

LOL, that'd be a great thing to put on your resume. ;) As long as it's for writing.

Dr. Mark said...

I'm glad you're looking forward to working with me again. I'm not sure what we're doing, but we'll get there . . .

Your three aren't too shabby, either. Nicely done!

LMW said...

Ha. Funny.

My husband isn't a Stephen King fan in general, except for a series of which I cannot remember the name (Could it be The Dark Towers?), but he did llike his book on writing quite a bit. King is actually from our town and he and his wife are super generous with their money in support of local endeavors, especially our public library. In fact, they're paying $3 million for a badly needed new roof for the library. We have a pretty great library and I'm sure the Kings' support deserves much of the credit.

Emily Foley said...

Good luck you guys! Stacy, you're CRAZY! Aren't you busy enough?! :)

Dr. Mark said...

Stacy is INCREDIBLY busy, so that's why we're desperately trying to catch up right now. In November, writing a novel becomes our primary school activity, as well as the focus of most days. We love it. There's something very cool about sitting in a coffee shop, as a family, with friends, all writing at the same time. The group energy is wonderful.

@LMW - It's great when celebrities give back in such personal and meaningful ways. I'm sure as an aspiring writer, Stephen King benefited from community resources like the library. Kudos to his family for supporting your community.