My very favorite YA author of all time, Shannon Hale, said "I believe the only way to get through this life is laughing, mostly at myself."
As most of you know, I've been doing National Novel Writing Month this month. (For those who don't know, it's basically just a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. And let me tell you, it's a lot harder than it sounds.) Shannon Hale's quote works very well for us NaNoWriMoers, I think.
See, when you're jotting down words as fast as you can think them, and forcing yourself not to go back and rewrite anything, most of it comes out sounding like utter garbage, if not nonsensical jibberish. Believe me, you should try it sometimes. And then simultaneously in the back of your mind you are trying to juggle plot and character development, while scrambling to meet your daily word-count. Believe me, it's insanity.
As a general rule, I force myself not to reread anything. Because it makes me depressed that I actually am having to spit out words that aren't really there; usually coming out sounding lifeless, dull, amateur, or overly random. Especially the latter. But here is where Shannon Hale's rule of the thumb comes in handing. This is not the time to weigh out ones writing skills, but rather to find enjoyment just in the madness of the writing itself. NaNoWriMoers, don't be afraid to find amusement in the utter patheticness of what you're producing.
And now, not only have I laughed at my novel (numerous times today), but I'm generously going to offer it up for your amusement. One of my biggest problems, when I go to writing dialogue, is trying to keep my characters on track. They tend to get off on these idiotic tangents that do nothing whatsoever to advance the plot, while I'm standing frustrated on the sidelines going, "No, no, no! You've got to stay focused numskulls!"
In this particular scene, TK and James are supposed to be seriously discussing James unemployment situation. Um. Yeah. Not happening. Instead they start (of their own free will, I promise!) talking about this absurd cultus that TK participates in.
So for all you who need a confidence boost as to your writing skills, and for all you who need to know that your characters aren't as contrary as you thought, I present to you James and TK, the stars of the nameless novel by Joy Clark.
“Morning Muffin!” called the cheery, and swiftly becoming too-familiar voice of TK. “Everyone else is gone, they said I was to give you the run down of the place and take you on my missions.”
“I’m speechless,” grunted James, digging the doorknob out of his lower stomach.
“With delight?” asked TK. “That’s great. Because, I don’t need you talking and rambling and stuff and messing up my missions. I need to focus you know. I don’t have time for playing around.”
James had scraped himself off the wall for the most part, and allowed TK to push him up the stairs, while the latter rather ironically rambled senselessly the whole time.
“Alright, so Y told me to explain the cult to you and everything before taking you on a mission, that way you won’t senselessly say something that could ruin us. The cult hinges on the basis that man’s ultimate artistic expression is food, and that the ultimate mind of man can be seen through food. So in that respect, food, which is a product of the ultimate mind of man, is a glimpse into man’s most inner self. So in your case, your inner Woodsy is an apple cinnamon muffin.”
“And how did you deduce that?”
“Oh, I didn’t.” TK looked at James as if a more ignorant fool in the world had never existed. “We all have our special talents in the cult you know, and only few are gifted with naming what bread a person is in his innermost self. Jerome was one who was really good at it. He said he could smell a person’s soul.”
“What did yours smell like?”As soon as the words had left his mouth, James felt incredible foolish. He couldn’t believe he was actually feeling a tad interested in this idiotic nonsense!
“Meat loaf,” answered TK with a shrug.
“Meat loaf! That’s not even remotely a bread!”
“I know it,” admitted TK. “We’re still trying to figure that one out.”