Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NaNoWriMo NoThankYou

Today I learned that Flaubert wrote an average of five words an hour, or about thirty words on a good day. I don't know if that's true but I read it in Alexander McCall Smith's novel, 44 Scotland Street which is published in daily instalments in The Scotsman. I receive it in rather less regular bundles through the post and clipped by my Mum because it doesn't appear in the free online version of the newspaper.

Prof. McCall Smith doesn't appear to suffer from this sluggish-writing malady himself as he's been churning out novels at a phenomenal rate for the past few years, at least apace with the aspiring novelists participating in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Am I alone in thinking that producing a 175 page novel in one month is a stupid idea? No question of me attempting such logorrhoea in any case because I feel like Flaubert at the moment —definitely a three-word-an-hour girl, and stilted ones at that.

In the absence, then, of any proper writing here, you might like to have a look at How babies are made in Germany; a page I'm bookmarking for when my children ask the inevitable question............... "Mummy, what did Mme Bovary and Rodolphe do exactly?"

6 comments:

Sarah Mackenzie said...

Does that look like a particularly easy birth or what? Smiling all the way. Hmm. I don't remember it in quite that way. I was a screamer. A very loud one. There - I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Ms Mac said...

I really think I need to find this book now.

Clair said...

I remember having a book very similar to that when I was young. I thought it was great.

Deborah said...

Well Sarah, I was just the opposite, stiff upper lip so ne'er a murmer (three times but it did get easier to grit the teeth). I was master of the euphemism outloud 'My goodness this is rather disagreable' and 'this is bloody awful' to myself. There, I'm proud to admit it!
Doesn't the doctor in the picture look like a sadistic torturer holding that mysterious instrument.


I suppose that Flaubert wrote a good deal more than thirty words a day, thousands no doubt and he just kept thirty. I'm happy he did this. I think anyone who hasn't read Madame Bovary yet has got something wonderful to look forward to. I read it for the first time when I was 33 and wished I had read it when I was twenty.

Sarah Mackenzie said...

I read it when I was twenty and I think I should read it again. At 46 - 33 is exactly midway!

At 33 I was in mid life crisis and I think I could have much more easily understood Mme Bovary than when I was twenty. Now I could look back with sympathy at both her and myself.

Lesley said...

Sarah,Yes, it does make it all look very easy doesn't it. I wasn't a screamer but then I had that lovely lady come and pump anaesthetic into my spinal cord, didn't I? Bliss!
Clair:The book my Mum gave me was called "Where Do Babies Come From?" But the pictures were nothing like these German ones.
Deborah: I read Mme Bovary in French when i was 20ish and my French really wasn't up to much so I don't think I understood it properly. Now the title evokes Isabelle Hubert's face so it's obviously time I read it again too. What was the title of that Woody Allen short story that reveolves around Mme B?