Saturday, October 22, 2016

Whimsical Deadlines
Fun With Quotes

So how, exactly does one have fun with quotes?
Glad you asked! If you’re like me, you start by exchanging quotes on a daily basis with your Best Bud. But not just any quotes, writing quotes, to give each other inspiration. And then you pick the two best quotes of the week to share with the rest of the world - because ... why not? :-D

Jamie and I both had a couple of “have I used this quote before?” moments last week, but when a quote is good, it’s good. Whether or not she’d used them before, all of Jamie’s quotes were good and I chose this one because I love Alice in Wonderland. :-D

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."
― Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventure in Wonderland

At first I was going to tell you that this is the best writing advice you’d ever receive, but then I started thinking about it. While it sounds in theory, it’s not always possible in practice. Sometimes what you perceive as the beginning of a story isn’t. And sometimes it makes more sense to start in the middle or the end of a story and work backwards.

On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t really matter where you start, as long as you keep going until the story is done. Once you set foot on the story path, it doesn’t matter how twisty it gets, you keep going until you get to the end. So maybe the King is right after all.

I think we can all be grateful that Lewis Carroll did so, how else would he have been able to give us such gems as Alice In Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and What the Tortoise Said to Achilles? And if you’ve ever read these novels, or Jabberwocky or even The Hunting of the Snark, you’ll know that knowing when to stop must have been a bit of a challenge.

My quote of the week is a little more mundane:

A deadline is, simply put, optimism in its most kick-ass form. It's a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path. This is especially true when it comes to creative pursuits.
― Chris Baty

And Chris Baty should know, because he came up with the ultimate deadline - 50,000 words in 30 days, which is better known as NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. If you haven’t heard of NaNo, just click on the link for more information.

Chris came up with the idea for NaNo in 1999. Having worked as an editor he had seen first hand what kind of impossible deadlines writers were capable of. So he challenged 20 of his friends to write a 50,000 word book in a month. They had so much fun that the next year he created a website and invited others to join in. From there it grew faster than even he could have imagined. Last year there were over 400,000 participants.

I’ve been doing NaNo for ten years now, and have 7 wins under my belt. I missed last year, but I’m going to participate again this year.

But that’s a post for another day. ;-)

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