NaNoWriMo 2007

That’s right: National Novel-Writing Month is upon us again. For the entire month of November, thousands of intrepid (“foolish” might actually be a better word) writers will be attempting to write a 50,000-word novel. In thirty days. No, I’m not kidding.

It can actually be done. I managed to bang out my first novel Wormhole, Wormhole in thirty days. Don’t look for it in bookstores, though…just because you write the 50,000 words doesn’t mean you’ll actually produce 50,000 publishable words. Hopefully, this time I’ll actually get around to the vital revision stage.

Wish me luck! Anybody who wants to watch my progress (I can’t imagine why, but I won’t ask questions) can find my profile here.

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Messing With the Mind: Linguistic Experiments

I’ve always been fascinated by enormous impact that language has on the mind. I’ve discovered that a change in writing style can, temporarily, produce an enormous change in mood, attitudes, and even perception for the writer (I’m certainly not the first to discover this, the Internet is ripe with other examples). So, I thought it might be informative (and amusing) to make myself a guinea pig for some linguistic experiments.

  1. “Question your data”: If the thing-I-call-myself performs the action-I-have-labeled-writing in a manner such that the-thing-I-call-myself makes no assumptions about the items-I-call-facts, then perhaps the thing-I-call-myself will begin to doubt these things-called-facts, or perhaps enter the state-I-call-openmindedness.
  2. “Efface the self”: Write without ever referring to “yourself.” Do not use the words “I”, “my,” “our,” or any other such words that imply that the writer has a “self.” It will very rapidly be discovered that one who adopts such a writing style will begin to feel very strange, and to lose their sense of the thing they formerly called “themselves.” It’s a very Buddhist way to write.
  3. “What nouns?”: In reality-ing, us-process discover that thing-processes are impermanent, and thus probably do not deserve such constant, stable label-entitydecays as noun-namings. Although writing in this manner-labeling can be rather confusing and disorienting, it-entitydecays is at least an interesting exercise.
  4. “The direct approach”: Do not use Adjectives. Capitalize Nouns. Do not clutter the Sentence with Words. Replace Adjectives with Verbs. Minimize Sentences. Lose Mind.
  5. “Do like the Germans”: Germanpeople are unafraid of wordcombinations. They willingly wordcombine separate rootwords unfearfully. Although admittedly the practicalresults of this in the Englishlanguage are somewhat confusingdisorienting, it makes an interestingexperiment.
  6. “Don’t be specific”: Another Buddhist experiment in language. Never refer to a specific “object.” All is one. All is all.
  7. “Be way, way too specific”: Use as many descriptive adjectives as your descriptive task requires. Be as mechanically and clinically precise as the current descriptive task warrants. Be coldly and exactly logical in your writing, whether descriptive or otherwise. Leave no room for linguistic ambiguities to enter into your descriptions. Although this particular method may be somewhat difficult to read quickly and easily, it at least leaves no room for errors to be inserted.

Try it! You might be surprised at just how dizzy, disoriented, dissociated, discombobulated, or deharmonized you can get.