Hey, its November! A great month all around!
Our five regular readers will remember that this is pCARL month.
pCARL is the pseudo-Creative Annual Ritual for Literature, birthed from my perhaps wry, failing sense of humor and my theoretical disappointment with National Novel Writing Month.
Basically, the idea is that the exercise of attempting to write a "novel", (a specious idea in itself, as the only constraints seem to be fiction and +20,000 words) in one month, while perhaps helping those who work best under arbitrary deadlines and contest-like project rules, is not really a very helpful stimulus to writing.
However, a yearly celebration of writing does sound like an awesome idea, especially if conceived as both a writing exercise, a celebration of the writing community, and a general stimulating project for new and current writers.
I thought pCARL might be be a better idea. You can read the entire argument in the link above, but generally, the idea is that we re-write a novel that we already enjoy, pretty much word for word. It's a close-reading study, a mimicry exercise, and something to do while we wait for our own creative juices to start flowing (which we hope that they would be, all year round).
Last year I re-wrote the first chapter of Herman Melville's The Confidence Man. It was a lot more work than I originally thought, for just re-typing a short printed chapter. It was fun, and I had planned to do more, but then immediately my own creativity grabbed a hold of me (for better or worse) and I embarked on a long string of other projects, one being my recently published novella. Goodness, that smug feeling of self-promotion gives me a rush.
I don't know if I will do a pCARL this year. I'm still swamped in other projects. Megan is working on one, (code name: Cookbook) with even further goals of re-publishing! I'm helping too, but so far she has done most of the re-writing.
If you are interested in taking part in pCARL, for a book, a story, a chapter, or even a page (hell, just do a sentence if you want!) let me know in the comments section. I'm interested to hear how other people experienced the project.
Also, there is the pCARL blog, that still exists. You can post your experiences there too. In fact, if you write them up in a nice paragraph, (or more) I'll even post them!
Predictions for 2012
5 years ago