Bees are buzzing mightily on the Nanowrimo page and all the talk is of Preparation. How do you plan your novel? What tools do you use? Do you download this or that package? Is there an app for that? Which software is the most useful?
Dear god, I think as I read this stuff. All I do is get hold of a notebook and write ideas in it. And I wonder what motivates people to shell out on stuff to enable them merely to plan (not even to write) a novel that will probably never be published? It beats me. Other questions on the group include ‘What’s your favourite nanowrimo snack or meal?’ and ‘what music do you listen to while writing?’ Deep stuff.
I don’t know what I expected. Discussions about how to plot a novel? Disquisitions on the origins of character? Debates on the philosophy of literature? Arguments about the Booker prize? But whatever I expected I was hoping for some kind of fellowship – comradeship, if you will; a sense of being in the same boat and on the same journey. Whereas up to now I’m feeling as if I’m in a completely different boat headed somewhere else entirely.
There’s also a whole load of jargon which I don’t understand and which life is too short to look up: for example I just came across the phrase ‘I’ve started plotting for Nano using save the cat beats.’ What? Save the what who? Who does what and how? I don’t even know where to start with that one.
There’s an entire industry devoted to ‘helping’ writers write and I want none of it. To paraphrase Hopkins:
There is in life a story ready-penned;
copy out only that, and save expense.
So I guess I’ll carry on doing the only thing I know how to do…just write.