If there’s one thing the rise of Tumblr has taught us, it’s that there’s nothing the Internet can do that there won’t be a Tumblr mocking within a week or two. Since it’s November, that means it’s time for half the Internet to try its hand at writing a novel, without much planning or forethought, to simply dump a 50,000-word first draft on the page by Nov. 30 and call it good. Rewriting? Who cares! In this grand age of self-publishing, the first draft is enough. Then you can call yourself a writer!
Look, National Novel Writing Month has noble aims, and trying to get people to get that first draft out is a great goal. (Lord knows the blank page is any writer’s worst enemy.) But the event also, unfortunately, encourages a certain sort of person, who might fancy him or herself a writer but isn’t necessarily certain of how to go about plotting or developing characters or researching or… anything, really. That’s why NaNoWriMo has forums, apparently, as those who need help turn to those forums to get questions answered by others.
Certainly there are people who want actual feedback and have difficult queries they want to wrestle with, but the Tumblr “Best Of NaNoWriMo” doesn’t care about those people. No, it is here to not-so-gently-mock the writers who essentially ask the forums to do their plotting for them, to answer the questions that are easily Googleable, to tell them how genius their terrible lines of dialogue are. The whole site is worth a read, but our favorites involve a donkey with a special power, this person who airily wonders if their book needs some conflict, and this one. There is also this helpful advice, for those of you hoping to make it to 50,000 words. Or, if nothing else, it is worth it to see the author squabble with NaNoWriMo participants, who think their hard work is being shat upon. (You can go ahead and use that construction in your novel. We do not mind.)