Saturday, October 30, 2010

1667 Words Per Day

Myles Smyles and Ginny Floow used to be writing buddies, but now they are writing rivals.

The two met as undergrads at UCSD, eloped in Vegas and divorced one month later. But they always remained admirers of one another's work ever since they'd been workshopping in Creative Writing 101. They continued critiquing and editing as loyal writing buddies for a whole decade after their brief marriage. Alas, a terrible misfortune turned them on each other.

Eventually, Myles grew to be the kind of writer who relies on improvisation and composing from the gut while Ginny writes according to mind maps and outlines; she researches and fact checks. But that's not the reason why these two writers have grown to despise one another. We'll get into that later.

Tonight, both writers sit grinding their teeth anticipating the serious writing work ahead. Both writers plan to participate in this year's National Novel Writing Month. Both writers have their pen's poised. This year hundreds of thousands of writers out there will be taking this 50,000 words in one month lightly; they enjoy writing for the hell of it, the fun of it, the literary abandon. Myles and Ginny, on the other hand, are in this for blood. Neither writer will rest until he or she has outwritten, outworded, outstoried the opponent.

In her quiet Study, Ms. Floow is prepared for National Novel Writing Month. For the past few weeks, three main characters have been doing lots of talking, moving, acting, thinking, loving, hating, eating, shitting, dressing, making their beds, etc. etc. inside Ginny's head. She has been sitting at her writing desk with her notebook open, completing writing prompts, watching her characters engage in whatever activities the prompts prompt. She has mind mapped and highlighted and has note-taken in the margins, Tonight she will sleep with her outline beneath her pillow.

Her opponent, Mr. Smyles is just as prepared. Myles has been WiFi-ing in coffee shops and beer gardens all over San Diego, He's been playing fast and loose with the "What If..."game, has engaged in dreamstorming and diving headlong into the white-hot center of his unconscious. He's come up with sordid but lovable characters and a plot for an erotic, legal thriller. The sensualist in him is on high alert--his skin pulses: Code Orange. Now he writes about lips pulling away from a straw of slurped lemonade. Now he writes about fingers feeling for change in a deep pocket. He will sleep with another whore tonight while he recites the words to his favorite novel, Finnegans Wake, in his sleep. He's going to write a novel called, Thanks Be to Godfrey, about a guy named Godfrey. He's dreamt that the opening line of the opening chapter goes something like, "Godfrey be nimble. Godfrey be quick. Godfrey jump over your financial advisor's dick!"

At midnight on November 1, Ms. Ginny Floow and Mr. Myles Smyles will proceed to write rival novels. Place your bets, folks; it's going to be an exciting race. What do you think? Which writer will win? On your mark! Get set!

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