Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNo Day 1: Whiskey and Pixies are a recipe for success

So my NaNo adventure has begun with 2,026 words (47,974 to go). I’ve started my novel. I don’t think I’ve actually started at the beginning, but whatever, it’s going.

Last night at Dragonfly, I was fortunate enough to be in the company of some great girls and their significant others who indulged me in a little run down of what I was thinking of writing. It may have been all the martinis and sake, but they seemed to think it was an interesting premise.

My question of the day: As a novel reader, how do you feel about narration vs. dialog? Of course any novel will have lots of both, but I have always found good dialog so much more enjoyable. In fact, I hate seeing page after page of solid text, and I always want to skip ahead to see what the characters are actually saying to each other. Is that weird?

Also, I’m no Truman Capote and while a great description is helpful in setting the scene, I feel it can grow indulgent and often has more to do with an author who thinks his/her writing is spectacular.

So my first novel may have a little more dialog than is typical, and I really need to work to make sure my descriptions are as necessary as they are creative and interesting.

November 1st (Day One):
Word Count: 2,026
Music: Pixies (When is my mind, in particular)
Drink: Whiskey and Lemonade
Inspiration: Truman Capote--"THE village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call "out there." Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West. The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness, and the men, many of them, wear narrow frontier trousers, Stetsons, and high-heeled boots with pointed toes. The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them."

--Opening paragraph of In Cold Blood

9 Comments:

Anonymous rcr said...

I have to admit, I often skip paragraphs of narration. I like narration if it's shedding light on the character, but the mere act of describing every single detail does not a novel make. I would say I'm more of a dialog guy. The same goes for movies - I couldn't care less about the plot if the dialog is good.

12:35 PM  
Blogger V said...

Whew, I'm not alone.

I'm also trying to make the descriptions like dialog, not sure how to explain it, but it's just more informal and somewhat opinionated--

Not sure if it works, exactly, but it's more interesting to me anyway.

12:40 PM  
Blogger WiB said...

Narration/description/exposition is great, just as long as it doesn't slow things down too much. Tolkein's a fantastic writer, but will spend three pages describing how the leaves of trees are moving. Makes good pictures in the head, but it shouldn't take that long to do it.

I like the informal approach. One of my favorite novelists is Brian Haig, and his novels flow more or less like he's sitting next to you on a barstool, just telling you a story. Works very well.

I think dialogue is more interesting, but much harder to write. Getting convincing-sounding conversations down on paper is like its own project.

Best of luck. When you finish (not if, mind you, but when), will people be able to read it?

2:49 PM  
Blogger V said...

wib: I tried Tolken and couldn't get much into him for just that reason. I appreciate the creativity, but it was too much.

I'll def check out Haig as I'm interestested in a different (more modern?) narrative style. Of course I just have 29 days left so it might be more after the novel is "finished."

I've been thinking about what the hell to do with those 50K words, I may post it somewhere, not sure...

3:32 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

I find narration only works if it's in the voice of Jar Jar Binks. By works I mean it makes me want to kill myself, or just skip it. You-sa stick-a ta' dialog methinks!

4:12 PM  
Blogger V said...

Sean: humm, will give it a try--the love scenes will be particularly entertaining :)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Politic-Anna said...

I've started a novel. Three different times. I can't stay consistant. That is why I blog.

Sigh.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous rcr said...

Baby, yousa very much turning meesa on. Meesa gonna come!

4:58 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

Oh I cannot wait to meet up on Sunday.

10:26 AM  

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