November 2011

Done, at long last.

NaNoWriMo 2011 Winner Badge

I’ve had a really productive weekend and tonight I’ve been cranking out the word count like nobody’s business so that my NaNo is just shy of 43,500. Who knew sticking my two favorite characters in a room and making one spill his secrets would be fun to write, eh? Sheesh. Sometimes I wonder why I make this so hard for myself, why I spend so much time spinning my wheels on the story, but whatever. Now is not the time to question myself; now is the time to be grateful for my success.

I’ve added a couple of chapters and I’ve also added a Chapter Zero at the beginning in which Our Hero closes an earlier case as a way to observe what it is he does in his school. It’s an idea stolen from James Bond novels and films and I’m sure Sir Ian Fleming stole it from someone else. I want to say it happens at the beginning of The Maltese Falcon but now I honestly can’t remember. Chandler starts all the Marlowe novels at the commencement of a fresh case but I can’t do that and Chandler was a genius anyway. I mean, seriously, people say they’re trying to write the Great American Novel but guess what: Chandler already did it and saved us all the trouble. The Long Goodbye is simply the best novel written in America in the 20th century as far as I’m concerned. No, I have not read all novels written in America in the 20th century, or even very many of them, but it’s hard as hell for me to imagine one that does a better job.

I update the PDF linked in the post below every day, as that’s one of my backup locations for total oh-shit-just-in-case scenarios, but I’ve been told that there are persons who do not realize that the link below does not point to a stale, 10K-word version of my NaNo for this year so here’s another link just in case: Tricks Up My Sleeve at 27,000 words and counting.

By the normal math I should be at 21,671 words, so I’m ahead of the game. I’ve also managed to stay on top of my homework and the gym and my walking/running schedule, more or less. Things I have not stayed on top of include anything else in the universe, but such is life in November. I’m mostly impressed with myself for having more or less managed this whole school-work-life-writing balance thing and only burning five days of leave to do it. So far.

My goal for today was to cross the 10K word mark, which I did with relative aplomb. My story so far has already undergone a number of changes. I was going for a slightly campy “gay boy Nancy Drew meets Brick” thing and instead it’s turned out to be slightly more hard-boiled than I had thought it would be but that does not mean it’s actually hard-boiled; that means that my main character’s campy qualities are more unconscious. He likes to think of himself as a hard-boiled adventure hero and that is, itself, campy. I’ve also added some elements – the love interest is a second-string quarterback playing the role of well-muscled femme fatale – and deleted some. Originally he was going to have these minor magic powers and I still kinda sorta want those? Maybe? But I’ve decided that if he’s going to have them then he doesn’t know he has them yet. I’m leaving the door open to them manifesting halfway through if I need them but overall I’m actually enjoying writing something more “realistic” than usual for all that it’s at all realistic, which is to say that it isn’t at all realistic in the least.

I’m having a lot of fun this year, already. I’m having as much fun as I had last year and about ten million times as much fun as I had the year before that, the only year I refuse to link or to show to anyone because it was such an unrelentingly awful pain to write much less to read.