Friday, October 26, 2007


A few days ago MacAdoo* mentioned that he's facing National Novel Writing Month (shortened to NaNoWriMo for people, like me, who are too lazy to say/type that all out) for the second year, and that he's conflicted about what to write during the month of November. In the past I've rejected the idea of participating in this. I have a few reasons for my avoidance:
  1. I can barf out 50,000 words in a month on any topic, but this seems to encourage the writing of crap.
  2. In the publishing world, if you can believe agents and their assistants, such as Miss Snark and The Rejecter (and I think you can), a novel is only (or at least for the most part) marketable between 70,000 and 100,000 words. Fifty-thousand will get you almost to the climax. It's a tease.
  3. For the past few years my primary projects have been outside the novel: a few screenplays, some short stories, some essays, and even some philosophy.

But I think this year I'll do it. In fact, I signed up for it this morning. The complication is that participants must write something new. Almost anything I have an interest in writing, I've been working on for some time. But I have a way around that.

My big novel project, the one that I wrote 30,000+ words toward this summer, qualifies. Since the work I've done to this point is prep (I even titled the file "Pre-Draft Draft"), and they allow for pre-existing notes and outlines, I'm classifying my material as "notes." I don't plan to use any of it word-for-word in the actual story, anyway. I couldn't. It's not a story--it's a description of a story. For now, I'm calling it Mostly Dead. Or maybe The Other Dead Guy.

So in a little less than a week I'm going to be intent on producing at least 1,666 words a day. Actually, I'll aim for 2,000, since that would put me closer to an actual novel's length. I'm sure in the beginning I'll be able to outdo that goal. After a week or so, though, I may bog down. I usually do.

Like I needed more to do. I'm grading a round of essays every three weeks and my Logic class keeps me jumping on a much more constant basis. Good thing I love teaching that. Right now we're doing Implicational Rules of Inference for constructing proofs in statement logic. Here's a sample:

1. ~X-->(~Y-->~Z)
2. X v (W-->U)
3. ~Y v W
4. ~X•T
5. (~Z v U) --> ~S .: (R v ~S)•T
6. ~X 4, Simplification
7. T 4, Simplification
8. ~Y-->~Z 1, 6, modus ponens
9. W-->U 2, 6, Disjuctive Syllogism
10. ~Z v U 3, 8, 9, Constructive Dilemma
11. ~S 5, 10, modus ponens
12. R v ~S 11, Addition
13. (R v ~S)•T 12, 7, Conjunction

And there we’ve proved that this argument form is valid.

Take that, you scientists and techies who live to torment me with your crazy jargon and such.

* I call him "MacAdoo" because of a long-standing inside joke. He's an actor, and he's prone to being cast in musicals. At one point I saw him in The Mikado, which I hated, though I thought he did well in his part. At any rate, we joked about doing a Scottish version of The Mikado, and it would almost have to be named The MacAdoo, because when pronounced with a Scottish accent it sounds almost the same.

And I thought it was funny. Which may be a point against the idea.

1 comment:

M.Filly said...

Look me up on NaNoWriMo. The name is Tgurnes.