Remember, remember, the month of November
The writing of novels a lot;
I write not of knowing, but NaNoWriMo’ing
An effort made for naught?
That’s why we’re Writing All Wrong.
What’s the easiest thing to write for NaNoWriMo?
—Katelyn Laek, Tigard, Ore.
(Note: NaNoWriMo is short for Narcissistic Nonsense Writing Motivation or something like that. Simple premise: write a “novel” of fifty-thousand words within the month of November. The prize? Fifty-thousand dollars. In the competition’s 197-year history, only five writers have claimed the prize.)
I’ll break it down by genre. I’ve listed levels of difficulty associated with each novel of 50,000 words worth. If you don’t face much challenge with getting the 50k down anymore, feel free to up the grade on this year’s entry.
GAMING THE SYSTEM: Dadaist hypertext, repetitive incantations, uniform texts found in Borgesian libraries, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” abstract language narratives.
ALMOST EASIER TO WRITE THAN READ: YA-fiction, middle-grade fiction, crime, mystery, low-concept Sci-fi, urban fantasy, romance, vampire/zombie anythings, horror, autobiography, fanfiction, time travelogues, erotica, Christian fiction.
AVERAGE FARE, BLAND BUT LABOR-INTENSIVE: High-concept sci-fi, high/low fantasy, (anything)slash, holiday, inspirational, memoir, thrillers, military, biography, cyberpunk, chick lit, Westerns, space opera, war stories, queer fiction, courtroom drama.
MODERATELY TAXING, TAKING IT SERIOUSLY: Historically-accurate romance, romantically-accurate history, alternate-history anything, literary sequels, chiastic narratives, technical fiction, Victorian steampunk, non-Christian religious fiction.
TOUGH BUFF STUFF: Epistolary novels, continual stream-of-consciousness regurgitation, pre-Victorian steampunk, literary fiction, Gothic, saga, New Greek tragedy
TOP-SHELF DIFFICULTY: Christian erotica, Christian queer fiction, fictional literary criticism, prehistoric legal cyber-romance, modern Elizabethan drama, elementary school readers, medical texts, absurdist plays, Apocrypha.
WELL-NIGH IMPOSSIBLE: Preschool readers, ad copy, character sketches, haiku.
Writing All Wrong can be reached via email (WritingAllWrong@me.com) and followed on Twitter (@WritingAllWrong).