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Commit yourself to writing sixty thousand words less
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(+4, -1)
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There's a thing called NaNoWriMo, where you commit yourself to writing a fifty thousand word novel in the month of November. I would say that the difficulty is not writing fifty thousand words in a month at all, but writing pithily and well. For instance, i could just write the word "nineteenthly" in a notebook fifty thousand times, but that wouldn't make it good.

For two reasons, there should be a NaNONoWriMo - National NO Novel Writing month - where people either reduce their output by fifty thousand words, in a Lent-like period of abstinence, or take the stuff they've already written and make it fifty thousand words shorter - say you have two hundred thousand words, you shorten it by three- quarters without cutting anything which interferes with the quality. These two reasons are that it would mean one spent less time writing and more time doing useful stuff instead, and that one's writing would become more readable and better.

nineteenthly, Nov 07 2011

NaNoWriMo http://www.nanowrimo.org/en
The original. [nineteenthly, Nov 07 2011]

Less is more http://www.halfbake...nes:t=_5bbrevity_5d
(Sometimes) [theleopard, Nov 08 2011]

Truth, clarity, clarity truth ... http://books.google...ruth%20bohr&f=false
... that is all ye need to know on Earth or need to know. [mouseposture, Nov 09 2011]

Fixup http://www.sf-encyc...dia.com/entry/fixup
A term coined by A.E.Van Vogt. [DrBob, Nov 19 2011]


       What if I just doodle a lot?
RayfordSteele, Nov 07 2011

       So, National Editing Month? Definitely useful, but yuck.
phundug, Nov 07 2011

       Why November? One of the busiest months around.
RayfordSteele, Nov 07 2011

       Less words != clarity.
mitxela, Nov 07 2011

       Fewer words, you mean.
RayfordSteele, Nov 07 2011

       Aha! Thanks for that, makes sense now.
nineteenthly, Nov 07 2011

       Happy to help.
Alterother, Nov 07 2011

       Shit, I accidentally deleted my original anno (it was in the #6 spot, between those of [RayS] and [19th]). Fortunately, I composed it in notepad, so here it is again:   

       November is the big month for the publishing industry, so the idea is that if you write your 50K this November, any interested houses will have all winter to consider it and, if they like it, get it ready for publication for next November (which hardly ever happens, but it's a nice dream).      

              Fewer words = clarity; quite true, but there's a bit more to it than that.      

              50K words is a deceptively hard mark to hit, which is why NaNoWriMo is a valuable tool to the publishing industry. For some reason nobody's yet fully explained, concepts that are longer than short prose typically either work out to 30- 40K novellas or full-length novels, which are 100K+. Writing a tight, engaging piece that hits as close to the 50K mark as possible is a display of technical prowess for a writer.   

       If [19thly] and I now delete and repost the previous two annos and replace them after this one, all will be right once more. Or you can just go back and read them in the original order.
Alterother, Nov 07 2011

       // would mean one spent less time writing and more time doing useful stuff instead //   

Alterother, Nov 07 2011

       // would mean one spent less time writing and more time doing useful stuff instead //   

       Like posting or reading on the HB?
AusCan531, Nov 07 2011

       //Less words != clarity//   

       In principle, sure. But as an heuristic, \\fewer words == greater clarity\\ is remarkably reliable. [+]
mouseposture, Nov 08 2011

       Less is more.
rcarty, Nov 08 2011

       All this "less is more" business reminds me of the [brevity] tag. I'll do a link, innit.
theleopard, Nov 08 2011

       NaNoWriMo is great - I never get very far in writing anything, but world-class procrastination to avoid having to think of what to write next leads to me finishing all the things I've been putting off for the rest of the year...
prufrax, Nov 08 2011

       Well, in a sense posting on the HB is writing which could take place elsewhere, but verbosity is a problem for some of us here.   

       [Prufrax], i'm sort of doing it now but more as a way of motivating myself to finish things off as i have a series of seven uncompleted shortish stories (around four to seven cube dozen words long each, often connected but not really a novel) which i'd like to complete, so it's sort of similar to what you say. I'm not actually writing a novel so much as writing a series of connected short stories the length of a novel.
nineteenthly, Nov 08 2011

       Perhaps we should have NaHbIdRiMo - International Halfbakery Idea Writing Month - the idea being that by the end of the month you will have posted a 50,000 word idea to the ’bakery. I suppose to make it more fun the idea should be written online - i/e/ at the start of the month you start the idea and each day you add more text to it. The annotations would sneer, mock and belittle your miserable attempts as well as flagging up breaches of the Rules.   

       On second thoughts such a project may break either the HB, or us, or both, so perhaps should not be attempted.
pocmloc, Nov 08 2011

       I doubt it would break it but even as it stands i find a certain user's ideas too long to be comfortably readable, and that user came to mind as i posted this.
nineteenthly, Nov 08 2011

       You're obviously a nicer person than I am; I was going to mention him by name.
Alterother, Nov 08 2011

       Well, i acknowledge i have a similar problem but it's probably worse in other writing. I do get that verbosity is easier than brevity for lots of people and i blame it on my study of continental Philosophy, where the prose style is apparently deliberately dire and opaque. I can see that he might find succinctness unachievable.
nineteenthly, Nov 09 2011

       //I was going to mention him by name// Y'all are talking about Niels Bohr, right?   

       He seriously asserted that clarity of expression was always at the expense of accuracy. I've never been able to interpret that in any other way than "wrong."   

       Perhaps I'm missing some more nuanced critique which would require 500 words to express.
mouseposture, Nov 09 2011

       Yes, i agree, that's absolutely wrong.
nineteenthly, Nov 09 2011

       Well, in fairness to Bohr, "Truth and clarity are complementary" is rather clear and succinct. Can't blame him if it's inaccurate. <link>   

       Edit: He may have meant that one starts with an unclear, but accurate description of the truth, and refines it into a clear and accurate description. (i.e. he was warning against premature clarity.) And, in fact, I've always proceeded by Bohr's route (and not only in writing), regarding it as a lamentable inefficiency. Bohr, perhaps, would say I was doing it right.
mouseposture, Nov 09 2011

       Excellent idea... and please extend it to existing novels, and even movies (like Titanic: "Build, float, crash & sink boat".) [+]
Grogster, Nov 09 2011

       I think I did the other thing   

       60 words about 1400 things as 1 minute audio files   

       now a cleverer person could use all 1400 things as story elements that imply the technological obviousness of the others creating an actual readable version   

       The EM bouncy garment lifters were drying the youths garments treated as they were with kindness pheremones while extuding copies of the mechanism to provide copies to everyone at the housing complex, the housing complex which had been replaced with 7 mile square areas at which each solitary human lived after that difficult moral episode from the hitchiking ticket, wherein, it is said, just one honest cop on the stand could have prevented the apocalypse. We are getting ahead of things here, perhaps I might offer you a new GCPR protein tuning snack? No?
beanangel, Nov 18 2011

       [Beanangel], A E van Vogt used to write in little bits and join them together to keep the action together. I haven't looked closely enough at his stuff, but i suspect the idea was to have an exciting incident in each bit.
nineteenthly, Nov 19 2011

       linky re: Van Vogt.
DrBob, Nov 19 2011


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