Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Bubble City: Preface

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The idea, as far as I can discern, is that more people ought to be writing novels. But whether this is for us or them is not clear.

Novels have an odd place in our culture. They can be capital-L Literature, as in the Great American Novel. Or they can be entertainment, as in romance or mystery novels. Or, and perhaps best, they can capture the essence of a place or time by using it as the backdrop for a story.

In this way, a novel is disguised memoir, as anyone who is friends with a novelist can readily discern. And, like a memoir, writing them can be therapeutic, exorcising a writer’s demons, while hopefully being more entertaining.

Over the next month I will be serializing a novel, Bubble City, in this space, one chapter every day. NaNoWriMo requires novels be at least 50,000 words in length and thirty days hath November, so I’ll aim for 1666 words a day, although if I get lazy I may make some days shorter if I go over on previous ones.

There are lots of reasons not to read it: I have no experience writing long-form fiction, I will be writing this live and thus bound to errors I make in previous chapters, you will undoubtedly be negatively portrayed in it, I have not really planned this out, and I have no great things to say. Each post’s title will begin with “Bubble City:” so you can easily ignore them.

That said, if you want to read a yarn about the denizens of San Francisco startups, the power they presume to have over the world, and what happens when programmers get in over their heads, stay tuned.

Tomorrow: Chapter One

You should follow me on twitter here.

October 31, 2007


Ah, then you’re simultaneously also participating in National Blog Posting Month.

posted by Gavin Baker on November 1, 2007 #

I’m not sure this is the way to write a novel.

If I were you, I would write the chapters as you intend, but also spend time rewriting and rethinking.

Then next month, post it as a serial. I think you’ll get higher quality this way.

Have fun!

posted by Ivan on November 1, 2007 #

Good choice of topic. Good luck!

posted by Xavier Vespa on November 2, 2007 #

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