November is nearly upon us, and around here that means it’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month. Once again, Laura and I will each be attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty short days. We are far from alone in this venture; yesterday we met with thirty or so people who will be writing their own novels next month. Throughout the month, we will meet at coffee shops, libraries and bookstores to discuss our progress, trade ideas, tips and traps, and compete in 20-minute Word Sprints.
For some people, the regular meetings are their most productive time (a few Cleveland-area writers can produce over a thousand words in a single 20-minute sprint), for others they are a way to share their triumphs or heartbreak. For me, they are an excuse to drink large café mochas and eat sweets.
Laura and I will be on a twenty-three hour a day television moratorium all throughout November in order to prevent the idiot box from absorbing precious writing time. The TiVo will take care of recording our favorite shows, and we have allowed ourselves an hour each day to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
One of the Cleveland-area participants has loaned Laura a laptop, an elderly Compaq with a 150MHz Pentium Processor and 32MB of RAM running Windows 98 and RoughDraft 3.0. This should come in very handy, as Laura spends much of her day in the living room with Kyle, her desktop far out of reach. After NaNoWriMo is finished, the laptop will become part of the official loaner laptop pool, a handful of laptops that NaNo founder Chris Baty and company ship out to needy novelists each year in late October.
This year, NaNoWriMo will be a little different for me. For starters, I actually have a story in mind, with a nearly-complete storyarc; it’s a blend of science fiction, action and suspense with a bit of political satire thrown in just to complicate things. I’m also part of a joint venture between Mur Lafferty (I Should Be Writing), The House of the Harping Monkey and P.G. Holyfield called The NanoMonkeys. It’s a daily podcast featuring tips and tricks, interviews, and the occasional reality check. I’ve heard a few of the segments, including an interview with podcast novelist, J.C. Hutchins (7th Son), and they all sound very good.
November looks to be a busy month and if all goes well I’ll have a first draft of Yesterday’s Tomorrow before the sun rises on December 1st.