Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo and Ganguros

I just signed up for the NaNoWriMo even though I'm not really sure of the rules yet. I want to try to write an adult novel and I figured it might be fun to do. I know you can't have started the manuscript yet, except maybe mentally. Of course I don't have a whole lot of time to devote to this, but I can try. It's really a way to force me not to agonize and just get stuff down on paper, and it might be fun to do it with other folks. I actually don't know anyone who writes adult books...maybe I will after this. And I think there are forums, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

In other exciting news, I am HAPPILY REVISING. Now that might seem like an oxymoron, but I can assure you, it's not. Usually, I approach revision with the same enthusiasm I approach a pile of ironing with, which is to say none.

I suffer through revision. I feel very, very sorry for myself and console myself with hidden stashes of chocolate (not Mars or Hershey's either, the good kind, from Europe) I work slowly. I consider abandoning writing and taking a full time job in a middle school where I force twelve year olds to circle the subject of sentences. I stop and start and stop again.

This time, I didn't take advice. I just went with what seemed right to me and it's coming out much, much better than I thought. It may not be perfect, but I think confidence in actually listening to yourself is a writing skill that is largely ignored.

I'm always worried about craft, about having it sound exactly the way I intended it to, but if someone, even someone who doesn't write or doesn't read much, says, "Hey, have you ever thought of including Satan in that picture book?" I stop to consider that as an option.

This time, I just did what I thought would be better and it worked. You would think I would know that by now, but you know what they say (actually, I'm not sure what they say, but they must say something about learning things after the fact, I just don't know what it is)

And things just keep getting better and better. After several days of wondering how I went so woefully wrong as a parent that my daughter wants to go out as Snooki for Halloween, she has decided, instead, to be a Ganguro Girl. Apparently, she liked a specific cheetah print dress that Snooki has worn, and when the idea of wearing that wore off, she landed on the Ganguro Girl. After she showed me a picture - here are Ganguro Girls:

I got really worried that they were a certain class of working girl in Asian society that Emma may not realize. But they're not.

 Apparently, researchers in Japanese studies think ganguro is a kind of fashion revenge against traditional Japanese society. I have no idea how she found out about it, but she does read fashion magazines. I am just really hoping they are not a form of the Japanese Snooki.


Bish Denham said...

Well, what with this mentorship with Angela I will be learning how to better evaluate my own work and that will help, I think, with my aversion to revising.

LOL on those ganguro girls. They look like overdone, overmade, Barbie dolls!

Anne Spollen said...

I'd almost rather do anything than revise. But yeah, evaluating is key, and that's definitely a skill that can be learned.

And the ganguros - yeah, they do sort of look like that. They seem clownish to me, but I'll take them over anyone or anything from the Jersey Shore cast. (I think most people would...)

K.C. Shaw said...

The great thing about NaNo is that you can do whatever you like as long as you write 50,000 words during November. It's most fun if you start a brand-new project, but I plan to finish a project that's been languishing for a year. It's awfully fun!

Anne Spollen said...

50,000 words, you say? In 30 days? Wow. So some of it, maybe a lot of it, is going to be awful, but it will be written. I LIKE the sound of those last four words there: it will be written.

I hope it's fun, just wondering what the drop out rate is...

Medeia Sharif said...

Interesting fashions.

Happy revising.

I'm not ready to Nano yet.

Marcia said...

Good luck with NaNo!

I'm half tempted to throw caution to the winds and sign up, even though my November calendar is positively insane. What with holidays and family events I'll have to strike 10 whole days already, and that doesn't include any ICL lessons, Thanksgiving prep, or Mom's medical. I dunno. I wish they'd do this in February.

Anne Spollen said...

It took me a long time to be ready for Nano, Medeia, and I'm not really sure I am. I'm just going to try it.

I think they did that deliberately, Marcia. It's all the more fun with so many things going on in November (and for me, I have to start holiday shopping). I'm approaching it as an "I'll try" more than "I'll make it" kind of exercise.

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Mary Witzl said...

I've been happily revising for over a month, but suddenly I'm stuck in a patch of mud and going nowhere. I'm trying to get my swing back, but it's tough.

Those ganguro girls a have been around for ages, but they're really in the limelight now. They used to hang out in Harujuku, in Tokyo, where people used to go just to watch kids do crazy things. I have some sympathy for them, knowing how rigid the Japanese school system is, and having taught a few, I know they're individuals in their own way. But they still look like horses' asses to me. If I had black hair, I'd never dream of bleaching it. And that white lipstick? Ewwwww.

Jen Daiker said...

Good luck with NaNo! I'm looking forward to trying it out for size as well! I'm a little nervous but I am looking forward to succeeding.

What a bright young girl to come up with something so different. I love the pictures!

Nora MacFarlane said...

I love revision, it's the actual writing that's like sweating blood for me -but I'm a glutton for punishment.

Speaking of... I did Nanowrimo once. I didn't make the wordcount (I couldn't silence my inner editor), but I did get 27,000 new words. Even if you don't make the goal, you still come out ahead.

Good luck!

Anne Spollen said...

Yeah, revising is like that, Mary. You get this "swing" going (to steal your verb) then it, poof, vanishes sometimes.

I am not world traveled; I consider going to Brooklyn traveling, so I had never heard of ganguro girls. I really have no idea how Emma knows so much about them, but as long as they are just kids/teens and not anything more sinister, I can stand it for one day.

Everyone says Nano is worth it just to fight off that slowness and procrastination that plagues writing, Jen. So I'm going to try it for that.

And Emma is a sweet kid. Just the kind of kid that looks at me when I hand her a pair of socks and says, "Why are they the same? I never wear socks that match." Eccentric. I blame her father...

That's the EXACT reason I am trying Nano, Nora - to silence that pesky inner editor. She never shuts up, but she's going to have to for Nano. I want to practice just writing quickly for once. Should be fun.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never heard of the Ganguro Girls either! Good luck with nano - it's my 3rd year and it's fun :)