Mary's site is the first stop on my promotion blog tour! (Thank-you Mary for having me on!)
The novel begins with my main character, my heroine Bryn, attempting to write a novel and much like Bryn when I sat down to write The Fifth Story, I had no clear idea of where it would take me or where I should go. The whole process stared when friends of mine, aware that I had a passion for writing, encouraged me to take part in NanoWriMo 2010 (National Novel Writing Month).
I eagerly signed up, thinking I'd have plenty of ideas to turn into a novel, but as November 1st approached, the day the challenge was to start, the idea for a novel hadn't really come to me. The thought of trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days became less about "just having fun" and more about adding unwanted stress to my life.
However, on Halloween night, as I lay in bed, the outline of a novel came to me. It wasn't fully formed and I didn't exactly have all the plot points laid out, but I had something to work with and was ready to go. From the first day of November 2010 to the last one 30 nights later, I worked like a fiend. I felt alive and creative as I never had before. I didn't write 50,000 works in 30 days; I wrote them in 20 and by the time the month was finished, I'd written a 60,000 word novel that I was genuinely proud of and is not very different than the one that I am promoting today.
Not long after I finished my novel, I was listening to a radio program on the CBC called "Q" and the topic had to do with NanoWritMo. The host and his guest were discussing whether or not this month of writing frenzy was of use to the writing and literary world. The guest, who was an editor of some nature, was not a fan of the month of writing fun. She essentially dismissed it as useless and felt that all NanoWritMo did was create a sea of bad novels. She said "Every December editors everywhere gird their loins for the onslaught of Nano manuscripts, most of them poorly written and not edited at all." I had some choice words for this editor and shouted them very loudly at the radio in my car. I was in shock. OK, yes, I suppose that receiving a large mess of terrible manuscripts would be irritating, but to say that it was bad for the writing and literary world? How could she say that? Art, no matter what the form, no matter whether the intention behind it is to attempt to sell it or keep it sealed in a box in an attic, art needs to be created. Art is the breath of the life, the oxygen of many creative people or people who just appreciate creativity.
Criticizing an event like Nanowritmo, demeaning people who are at least trying to be creative, is like telling a child who's learning to draw to not bother drawing at all because most likely their art will never be anything anyone wants to see. "Tuck your pencils away, Johnny and until you have the spontaneous genius to create something the world will want to look at forever, don't even bother to try."
Now this isn't a posting to advertise NanoWriMo. It's supposed to be a posting to promote The Fifth Story. However, to me this novel and that contest will always go hand in hand. November 2010 was the month I dared to go from writing short stories and articles to a full blown book. It was a month that changed me, gave me confidence in my writing, and caused me to pull out my previously rejected Between the Lines, my first novel, dust it off and send it to Breathless Press. If it wasn't for NanoWritMo, I wouldn't be writing this today.
So, I dedicate this post to all the people out there who dare to create art, in any form. No matter what creative or artistic endeavor you do there will be those who will shun it, those who wonder why you bothered and even hate it. However, the lovely flip side of this is that there will be people out there who will love what you do, whom you will touch deeply and perhaps, because of your art, you will inspire them to create "useless" works of their own.
|Between The Lines by Ivy Bateman|