Yay, Nanowrimo is finally here! And I am SO happy about it. When I (finally) decided to take the challenge, it occurred to me that fear should be in order. But I prioritized my work and realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to stray from the genre that, I suspect, may become my standard one for writing.
I’ve always liked stories with humor and irreverence (Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Robert Aspirin) and I have always wanted to write something similar. This was my chance. With that goal in mind, I knew the story I wanted to write and I even had a few “adventures” for my character to experience. That was the beginning. I spent a bit of time talking with my technical consultants (my kids) about some of the aspects of the adventures (it features an eight-year-old boy, after all) and dully noted down their suggestions. I even (gasp) had a few good ideas of my own. But I didn’t want this to be too fully plotted out. This was to be a bit of a stream-of-consciousness exercise. In a word, fun.
The last story I wrote was a lot more serious, and while enjoyable to write, it also represented a bit of hard work. This was to be none of that. I wanted something that I couldn’t wait to get back to. That was my goal… any I think I’ve accomplished it… so far.
Tuesday, I went to work and then came home to take the kids Trick or Treating. I had a blast. But in the back of my mind lurked my Nano story. When my Halloween night finally ended, I went to bed, but still, there was the story.
I first decided to abandon sleep (for a few minutes anyway) at 12:06 AM Wednesday morning. I crept out of bed and slunk down to my laptop… just to check the Nano site… you know… for fun… just in case something had changed. Of course, it remained much the same, except for the notable changes around the countdown timer and word counter. Satisfied that all was well in the world, I went back to bed… where I stared at the ceiling for another 100 minutes or so.
The story just kept running through my mind; how it was going to begin and where I hoped to take it. Nothing for it, I dragged my butt out of bed once again much to my wife’s annoyance. “Now where are you going?” was her parting shot as I left. My only response? “Gotta get this story out of my head or I won’t be sleeping tonight.” I threw on the old house coat (wouldn’t want to offend any thieves that might be in my house) and went back to my computer. The clock said 01:46.
I began to feverously type the ideas in my head into my story template. Not quite 30 minutes later, I had the first chapter almost done. The count: 843 words. By the end of the first day, my word count had exceeded 3000 words. And mission accomplished. I’m loving every minute that I’m able to tear myself away from the daily grind to beat away at the 50,000 word challenge.
Am I going to make it? Way too early to say. But I’ve got a smile a mile wide right now and that’s more than enough. Will the story actually be funny? That too is difficult to say. I’ll probably test it on my toughest audience; my family. They’ll certainly tell me where it’s lame and where it’s good. I’ll worry about that in December though.
For now I’m going to enjoy it the way I’ve always anticipated. And who knows? I may learn the Zen secret to a happy life on the way (I’ve had several theories that are not completely proven to date). Now if only I could forgo work and those nasty vices called eating and sleeping (oh yeah and family) for November, I might truly reach nirvana.