NaNoWriMo: Day Four

Who else has written Magna Carta I & II lists as suggested in No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty? I would love to see yours! I know I talk about this book a lot, but it perfectly encapsulates the way for me to NaNoWriMo. I understand some people go in with plots and outlines and a huge bank of knowledge about their setting and they do great, but I’m not some people. I pants my way through this month like the business of nobody. I love the reminder to write what you love, and stay clear of what you hate. I hate to give away the secrets of this book (which you all should read, I think, especially if you’re having trouble this month!) but these lists are exactly that, a list of literary dos and don’ts just for me.

Here are my lists, my literary loves:

  • Third person narrative.
  • Happy Endings.
  • Smart protagonists.
  • Light, whimsical storytelling.
  • Descriptions of delicate things, light, dust motes, things noticed in childhood, recollections. (This is something, for example, that I love about The Little Friend by Donna Tartt)
  • Historical settings.
  • Likable people.
  • Humor.
  • Quick witted conversationalists.
  • Descriptions of vague things. Vague description of odd things. (Lovecraftian)
  • Lack of plot. (a story that begins and ends without really having dramatic pull. Lack of plot might not be the right way to put it. Someone gets from one point in their life to another without following the hero’s journey. Hilary Mantel does this sometimes, Julian Barnes also. It’s just there and I enjoy it.)
  • Magic (in so many forms).
  • Happiness.
  • Lovers who have lots in common with each other. Relationships based in concrete compatibility instead of lust.
  • My literary dislikes:

  • First person narrative. Often dripping with obnoxious foreknowledge and “oh, but that didn’t come ’til laters” it makes me feel unwell.
  • Stupid decisions, lack of common sense.
  • Hopelessness. If the story falls in a hole I want it to come out the other side.
  • Embarrassment. It’s not funny or compelling to me.
  • Sports. They make me sleepy. In general I am okay with quidditch, though I will admit, I skimmed it a little.
  • Misogyny. Maybe the author is making a point, but I know it exists and it makes me feel low.
  • Obviously bad things, on that note.
  • Workplace drama. Is why I don’t have a job. :P
  • Mary Sues.
  • Sex scenes involving food or household objects.
  • Anyway, my writing went a bit slow today, partially because I have a pretty good lead and had some other things I wanted to do. I got 1,967 words and I entered the realm of 5 digits. Once there I did the 5 digit dance. Unfortunately there was no one around to capture this on video.

    11359 / 50000 words. 23% done!

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    2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Day Four

      • Rachel says:

        Well, I’ve never tried, and in general all rules can be broken. I won’t say I don’t like something until I’ve tried it. I’ve read books that had various aspects of my second list and liked them anyway. In fact, I can think of very few books I’ve actually disliked. Does Cormac McCarthy fall into a lot of my literary dislikes?

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