"In the Beginning ...." — an ode to National Novel Writing Month
In the Beginning …
… the writer created new heavens and a new earth. This new earth was without form and void, and blankness was upon the face of the writer’s notebook; and the Flash of Inspiration was moving over the face of the notebook.
And the writer said, “Let there be a plot,” and there was a plot. And the writer saw that it was good; and the writer separated the plot from other storylines. The writer called the plot Novel and other storylines he called Distractions. And there was drinking and then a hangover, the first day.
And the writer said, “Let there be a logical structure in the midst of the plot, and let it separate the plot from incoherent rambling.” And the writer developed an outline and separated the plot from the distractions not included in the plot. And it was so. And the writer called the outline Synopsis. And there were cigars and a nicotine buzz, the second day.
And the writer said, “Let the ideas within the plot be gathered together into a genre, and let the framework for the Novel appear.” And it was so. The writer identified his genre, and the frameworks for other genres he cast into the sea. And the writer saw that it was good. And the writer said, “Let the Novel put forth characters, protagonists advancing the plot and antagonists hindering it, each according to his archetype.” And it was so. The plot brought forth richly designed characters, protagonists advancing the plot and antagonists hindering it. And the writer saw that it was good. And there was leftover pizza and donuts, the third day.
And the writer said, “Let there be appropriate spacing in the plot of the Novel, to separate scene from scene; and let it be spaced for signs and for key points and for the passage of time, and let them provide a spatial and temporal organization to shine light upon the plot.” And it was so. And the writer made the two great spacers, the greater spacer to rule the passage of narrative time, and the lesser spacer to rule the physical relationships among characters; he made foreshadowing and flashbacks also. And the writer set them within the plot to illuminate the reader, and to separate scene from scene. And the writer saw that it was good. And there was No-Doze and burnt coffee, the fourth day.
And the writer said, “Let the Novel bring forth assorted secondary characters according to their usefulness to the plot, and let these various people help or hinder the protagonists and antagonists, and let them round out the plot with their distinct voices and development.” So the writer created a host of secondary characters, according to their usefulness to the plot, but without introducing so many that the writer derailed the plot like George R. R. Martin did. And the writer saw that it was good. And the writer blessed them, saying, “Be adventuresome and multiply and fill the gaping holes in the plot, and enrich the Novel’s backstory.” And there was an argument with the neglected significant other, the fifth day.
And the writer said, “Let the Novel bring forth subplots according to their usefulness: twists and turns and additional color to augment the main plot.” And it was so. And the writer made various subplots to advance the main plot through twists and turns. And the writer saw that it was good.
Then the writer said, “Let me make this Novel in my own image, after the stirrings of my own heart; and let my Novel be my own story and have pride of place in my life’s work.” So, the writer created the Novel in his own image, in the image of his own Id he created it; plot and characters and scenes, he created it. And the writer blessed it, and the writer said to it, “Be fruitful and multiply my bank account when I sell this Novel, and fill my wallet and claim crushing dominion over the Novels of all other writers.” And the writer said, “Behold, I have given you the entire month of November, and all the plot and subplots and characters and synopses to nourish you. And to this product of my heart and mind, I have given the breath of life, 1,667 words at a time.” And it was so. And the writer saw the Novel he had made, and behold, it sucked salty dog balls. And there were write-ins and panicked catch-up sessions, the sixth day.
Thus the Novel was finished, and all the host of novels finished for NaNoWriMo. And on the seventh day the writer finished his work that he had done. So the writer blessed December 1 and partied on it, because on this day the writer rested from all his labors.
And on December 2, the writer said, “Let there be rewrites …”
[ 2012 by Jason E. Gillikin]
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