Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Burning of the Brain

These are the books I've been wrapping my head around, in no particular order:

K. M. Endicott, An Analysis of Malay Magic
Robert Nelson, Finnish Magic
James Chambers, The Devil's Horsemen
Niels Mulder, Mysticism in Java: Ideology in Indonesia
John Miller Chernoff, African Rhythm and African Sensibility
William Seabrook, The Magic Island
Zora Neal Hurston, Tell My Horse
Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Alice M. Terada, The Magic Crocodile and other folktales from Indonesia
Erik Hildinger, Warriors of the Steppe
Clifford Geertz, The Religion of Java
Richard Price, Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas

No wonder my head hurts.

Add: Joseph Campbell, especially Primitive Mythology and Oriental Mythology. I'm not sold on all of Campbell's theories, for a lot of reasons, but if you read his books as fiction, he tells a good story. And they're full of great stuff to rip off.

Numbers: I have already written about 12,430 words in this story. I feel like I've barely begun to scratch the surface, and yet I'm almost 1/4 of the way to the 50,000-word NaNoWriMo goal. I'm beginning to think 50,000 is a pretty slight novel. It's clear that mine will be considerably longer than that when it's finished insh'allah.

So... it might be reasonable for me to aim for 50,000 total words by the end of the month, realizing that represents neither a complete novel nor the output of a month's work. By then I should be able to tell approximately how long I expect the finished product to be.

One of the things this exercise is meant to accomplish has to be getting people into production mode. To meet the word count, you really have to just get the words out there: you can't be doing all the self-editing and backing and filling that people do that slows down the writing process. So, accept that there will be a lot of revising and editing to do on the body of work that NaNoWriMo produces.

At the same time, I'm realizing it really doesn't take that long to write 1667 words (the necessary daily average to meet the 50,000 in 30 days goal). If the material's there.

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