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NaNoWriMo 2012: Bonus Mini-Episode 2, with Dan & Rob

NaNoWriMo 2012: Bonus Mini-Episode 2, with Dan & Rob


[Dan] Hello, listeners. This is Dan Wells. It is the second week of NaNoWriMo. We know that you're very excited, that you're plugging away at your book. We also know that around second week is where it starts to get hard. The cold cruel reality of trying to keep up 1700 words a day average is really starting to beat you over the head. So I'm here with my brother...
[Rob] Hello!

[Dan] The inimitable Robison Wells. We're going to tell you why this is actually worth it. Rob, is it actually worth it?
[Rob] [garbled]
[Dan] Should they keep going?
[Rob] You should absolutely keep going. Let me tell you guys, when I first started writing, I have heard... I have been writing now for about 13 years. I have gone to a ton of conferences and conventions, read books on how to write, and read articles on how to write, but the best advice that I ever got was the first device that I ever got. It came from Mr. Wells here. Not to pat him on the back, but it was the best advice I ever got.
[Dan] Too late.
[Rob] It was, basically, I went to Dan and I said, "Hey, I've got an idea for a story. You should write it." Because I didn't have the mindset as a writer at all, and Dan was the one who was working on an English degree. But I was working on a history degree, and I had this idea that had come to me by watching this historical documentary. I said, "Dan, I've got this idea for a book, why don't you write it?" He said, "No, why don't... I'm working on something else, why don't you write a couple of chapters and come to my writing group?" Then the advice he gave me was, "Everyone says that they have an idea for a book, and everybody says that one day they're going to sit down and write the great American novel. The difference between writers and everybody else is that writers do it." He told me the first rule of writing is to write. Using the advice, he got me through that first awful book that I wrote. Dan, was it terrible?
[Dan] It was so terrible. It made me weep. Of course, part of that is because my writing group really made it worse. I apologize for that. We're better now in our writing group. But he's absolutely right. The three rules of writing. Rule one, write. Then you don't need to know what the other two rules are. Just write. Now I want to give you guys a final piece of parting advice. Maybe something that will help you get through week two here, that will help you over the bumps and help you past the gaps in your outline or whatever the problem is. That is to forget everything you've ever heard from a writing class. When you're sitting down to write, don't think about three act structure, and don't think about the different models of characters and making your protagonist really protagonistish, all these things. Just write something that you love. Try to put your own emotions into it. Try to feel what you're writing. Because that's what's going to suck people in. Not a single person who's interesting has ever read a book and said, "I loved the way they used three act structure." Usually, what we love about a book is what it makes you feel, that sucks you into it. That's what you're trying to write, is the emotions of it. So don't worry about all the five years of Writing Excuses episodes you've listened to, just write something you love and make someone else love it.
[Rob] Exactly.
[Dan] If you think that Rob's voice is not as grating as his voice would make you think it is, Rob and I have our own little podcast that you could listen to, but you're not allowed to until December, called Do I Dare to Eat a Peach, where the two of us argue about pop culture. So... But no listening until you finish your manuscript, or at least until you finish your words for the day. Of course, next week, Howard will be back with another little peptalk for you in week three. So we will see you then.
[Rob] All right. Bye.
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