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Quantity over Quality

Who doesn’t like NaNoWriMo?

Well, to be honest…. a lot of people.  It attracts many criticisms, but one of the loudest (apart from “Please don’t make me read what you wrote!!!!”) is that we always push for “quantity over quality.”

Which is a fair observation.  Many people, including me, find it easier to write now and edit later.  However many people also struggle to leave something less than perfect, and prefer to take their time trying to craft it before moving on to the next page.  There seems to be a general feeling that quantity is the enemy of quality.

Which brings me to an interesting story from Art & Fear : Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.

41o9FWML8RL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an “A”, 40 pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, come grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in NaNoWriMo, Writing

 

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Please help!

If you are reading this message, it means that I have been kidnapped by genetically enhanced penguins, and only you can stop the Parakeet Apocalypse before it is too late…

Okay, that might not be true, but wouldn’t it be a cool plot for a book?

Unless you think you can do better. 

In which case, I invite you to join me for National Novel Writing Month this November and take part in the excitement and madness of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

For Asgard, For Sparta, and for Freedom from Fowl Oppression everywhere!

Madness???? This is NANO!!!!!

David Seven

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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in NaNoWriMo

 

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Things I think about #2 : Senses

Something else that I started doing when I wrote Romance Fiction for the first time, but have found myself doing all the time now, is asking…

“What sense is being used in this scene?”

Sure my Main Character can walk into a room, and tell us what he sees.  But to make us truly feel what he feels in the room, maybe he can smell something.  Maybe the doorknob was rough when he opened the door.  Did it squeak when he pushed it?

He may have walked out of the room quickly, but maybe we only know that because of the feel of the wind on his face.

And just what does an oyster taste like?

I try to make sure that on each page, I am describing the scene with a different sense.  It is not necessary to use all 5 at once, or to use them in order like a rotation.  But I try to make sure I am not neglecting any of them in the long term story.

Sometimes I go back over the manuscript and mark each paragraph in a different colour depending on the sense being used to describe it.  And if there is too much green, and not enough blue, then I need to think about that one.

Do you think about this?

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Ponderings

 

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NaNo 13–Day 1

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From the ridiculously talented people at NaNoToons.net, who always manage to get it right. 

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2013 in NaNoWriMo

 

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Come what may…

Even if I live to be 100 years old, and win an award every year for a new book, I will never write a book that is as important, or valuable to me, as the one I wrote in 2011 called Come What May.

The “book” is only about 5,000 words long, and is handwritten in a leather bound journal. 

20131030_151733And only one other person has ever read it.

So why is it so important to me?

Because I wrote a short story about how I met and fell in love with the love of my life, and on 27 July 2011 I gave her the book as a gift.

Once she read the last page, she asked me why there were so many blank pages at the end, and I replied, “So that we can fill the rest of the pages together.” … and then I asked her to marry me.

And the rest is history.

So I guess you could say this book helped me to gain the world, and who cares about awards and huge royalties cheques after that?

cwm (2)I never really felt like I had the time to do our story the justice that it deserved.  So this year for NaNoWriMo, I will be writing a love story called “Come what may which will be my literary equivalent of “How I met your Mother.” 

I am still not sure how I will handle it, because I want to incorporate as much as possible of the original text, but also amplify it.

But I am looking forward to trying.

(I was going to try in 2011, but since we chose to get married in November, NaNoWriMo took a bit of a back-seat that year.)

 

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in NaNoWriMo, Novel

 

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10 Reasons to do NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

10 reasons to do National Novel Writing Month this year:

  1. The pride and achievement of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
  2. Numerous e-mail peptalks from authors, such as James Patterson.
  3. We have a Travelling Shovel of Death.  Enough said.
  4. If you finish this year, there are great sponsorship offers, such as createspace will print and ship two free copiesof your book to you.  (Yes, anywhere in the world.)  You have six months to finish and submit the book, so it also makes a good editing deadline.
  5. See 5 above.
  6. I don’t have an item 7, but since it is my favourite number I will write something anyway.
  7. Chicks love a writer.  Drop phrases like “My latest novel” into conversations, while earnestly scribbling in a notebook, and they’ll just line up to throw themselves at you. (Obviously not me, since I am married… but good luck for the rest of you.)
  8. An opportunity to interact with lots of fun people on the forums.
  9. Item 10 is so cool, I can’t even tell you about it. Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org and you’ll find out all about it.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in NaNoWriMo

 

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Time to write.

Last year, 2010,  marked the 6th year that I have done NaNoWriMo.  The first three years were failures of sorts, i.e. I did not finish.  (Mostly health reasons.)  The last three years I finished my novels, but I do not think I will be publishing any of them anytime soon  

So that means I have three completed, and three uncompleted manuscripts in my drawer.   So, enough with the rough drafts David, time to actually finish something.

This year I am committed to finishing one of these novels.  Well, actually two, because I will be combining.   In 2006, I wrote a novel with the stunning title of I Made the Devil do it.  How can you not like and want to read a novel with a title like that?  It is half-finished, but it was a little… bland.  It needed spice.  Which is where my 2005 novel Only Tuesday, comes in.  I wrote about 25,000 words on this novel, but I never got anywhere.  There were lots of beautiful scenes, and dialogues.  But no point to the novel.  So I am going to rip the guts out of it, and stuff them into I Made the Devil do it.  Then, with some editing and re-writing, I think I will have a decent completed draft to start polishing. 

Watch your bookshelves, because there might be a David Seven original arriving soon.

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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in NaNoWriMo, Novel

 

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