“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” -Rudyard Kipling
You might not believe it, but when I was a kid, I hated writing. Absolutely hated it. And it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to write, or because I didn’t enjoy communicating my thoughts, or because I didn’t like the written word, because I always enjoyed reading. Perhaps because I was a lefty with bad handwriting, I felt that the entire enterprise of writing was against me.
Of course, that was my issue to work through, and not only do I write all the time of my own volition now, I actually enjoy it. As We’re About 9 would tell you, it’s a (mostly) great feeling to be
With the whole Universe at my disposal, I certainly have plenty to write about. And while I’ve certainly taken advantage of the internet’s plethora of pictures and videos, the time has finally come to embark upon a new journey. This November, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, and begin writing a very science-heavy novel.
For those of you who’ve never heard of it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is simply to get people (worldwide, despite the name) writing — for their own edification — with the goal of penning down 50,000 words during the month of November. Although you may not start writing until November 1st and you don’t need to necessarily be finished by November 30th, the magic number of 50,000 words puts you well over the line between a novel and a novella (which is, officially, 40,000 words) and is the approximate length of many great novels, including Brave New World, The Great Gatsby and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Best of all, if you’re so inclined, you can sign up to write one yourself, and do it alongside me! My screen name there is Starts With A Bang, and from November 1st to the 30th, here’s what I’ll try to be creating.
A fictionalized history of science, where we follow our protagonist throughout a lifetime of discovery of his place in the Universe, of what the physical Universe actually is, and how he comes to know it.
This includes his own world, the birth, life, death, and future of stars, the discovery of galaxies both nearby and distant, and how it all comes together to give us a picture of our Universe throughout space and time.
It will be a big, new challenge for me, to try and paint such a vivid story without the aid of images, and without any comments or feedback. But I think that Kipling is right, and that if I can communicate what we know and how we know it through an interesting story, rather than simply writing as plainly as I normally do, something either very good (or very bad) is likely to result.
But there’s no point in not trying! So this November, I’m going for it.
I’ll be spending this October planning it out and outlining it, and I’ll likely spend December (and maybe January) revising, editing, and polishing it; if all goes well, you’ll get a chance to read it when it’s complete.
If you want to participate alongside me, sign up at nanowrimo.org, leave a comment here and let me know how to follow you, and I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s all going. It’s ambitious, it’s exciting, and it’s probably going to be colossal — either as a failure or a success — but you never know what you can do unless you try!