Sunday, November 28, 2004

salamanca = finished

Official NaNoWriMo 2004 Winner!

I can't believe I did it. 50,000 words in 29 days with only two skipped writing days. The longest thing piece of continous prose I've ever written.

Putting aside for the moment the inevitable rewrites and full-scale editing for inconsistencies and typos, I must say that this was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences of my life.

For years, my friends and family have been urging me to write a novel, and for an equal number of years I've refused, saying that I was not ready, that I was not familiar with the form, that I had nothing to say of import, that I was playwright and a writer of short fiction. Secretly, one of the things that hindered me was that I was afraid I would not be able to complete what I started and that I would produce mindless drivel.

I was in Florida, suffering from the inactivity of my vacation, when I stumbled across the NaNoWriMo/NaNoBloMo and said to myself, "What the fuck?". I had nothing to lose but my pride.

I thought about what story to tell, initially leaning towards an arabesque melange of interwoven fantasies that would allow me to cheat by writing ten short stories and a framing sequence. Then I remembered a short story I began entitled "Beauty" or "Gaudencio & Jacinta", parts of which I posted in my blog, which a number of readers enjoyed. I remembered my promise to my friend Kate that I would finish it one day. Hence "Salamanca".

I started with an endless storm in the first part that exhausted much of my vocabulary that pertained to rain, struggled through the second part because of my unintentionally setting that act in a time period I was not particularly keen on, and breezed through the final part, snowballing to the ending I had in mind when I first started to write.

I expanded my roster of main characters and created many supporting ones, trying in the space of a few hundred words to imbue them with some depth using a method I developed on the fly.

As for theme, well, people who read my stuff know that I inevitably write about love and the human condition. ;)

I hope you enjoyed it despite it's clunkiness. Just drop me a line if you want a free digital copy of the true final version when I summon up enough energy to revisit the book.

Thank you to my wife, Nikki, and my best friend, Vin, for their unwavering confidence in my ability to write especially in the moments I hit a brick wall, as well as to my daughter, Sage, for knowing when "Daddy is working". Thanks also to everyone who read and supported this madness: Buddha, Banzai Cat, Joey Alarilla, Rickey, Elbert, Inez, Woofy, Jonette, Kat, Charles, Rei, Alex and everyone that I, mere moments after finishing the damn thing and with a brain the consistency of cotton, have inexcusably forgotten.

See you next year. And now... Pokemon!


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