Monday, December 5


Let it be said for its absurdity: I am trying to write a novel. A month ago, this would have sounded preposterous, but see what an academic requirement (and therefore an unsaid threat of a middling grade) can do? B had given us an option to do a novel in lieu of the 40-page short story he normally required. It is suddenly doable. For some reason, it suddenly seems something I can actually do before I turn 27 (because Rizal published Noli at 26, and I have serious competitiveness issues).

It was a good thing then that I got to read nice novels in the past month or so, including Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, Franzen's The Corrections, and Atwood's Alias Grace (and a fantastic nonfiction book on the Rwandan genocide from L). Fat novels. I am clearly still learning how to do this. The largeness. The worlding. The measured pace. The requisite depth of introspection. The Proustian detailing. The nouns. I just passed the 6,000-word mark, which puts me at 7.5 percent of my set 80,000-word target (it actually sounds something when you put it in percentage).

Since my workshop slot is somewhere in the middle of January, I have around 5 weeks to churn up around 5,000 more. But since I want to take advantage of the rare chance to have B critique a novel manuscript, I obviously want to do more. I have set up a modest 1,000-word-a-day requirement for myself, something that is turning out to be not so modest after all. It is hard. I write quickly when it's for work and critical papers, but when it's this -- and I, like B, am relying for the most part on gutfeel and a hazy plot in my head - I am absolutely slow. And with my obsessive need to reread and rewrite, I am taking ages. These, of course, all considering that I have very little social life and absolutely no professional life, other than guest-editing for the Collegian, to speak of.

Do I harbor delusions that it might be a nice piece of literature? Well, I don't know. But otherwise, what would be the point?

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha. Congrats Glenn. I am currently at 0! Mabuhay kayo ni Rizal!