NaNoWriMo 2007: Last Minute Preparations

NaNoWriMo 2007 Participant
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National Novel Writing Month begins in a few short days, and I still haven’t decided which story I’m writing. I have two potential ideas:

  1. A supernatural detective story set in the mid-nineteenth century. The detective in question is one Bannister Proulx—a name I’m borrowing from last year’s incomplete NaNo effort, Yesterday’s Tomorrow—a police consultant, dabbler in the arcane and amateur magician. While investigating an unusual murder in Cleveland, Ohio, Bannister learns of similar killings in San Francisco, Boston and other far-flung cities across the United States. So similar are the slayings that Proulx can draw only one conclusion: as impossible as it may seem, the grisly crimes are the work of a single individual; a man or woman capable of transporting him or herself across thousands of miles in the span of a few short hours.
  2. A political thriller set in the near future, shortly following America’s triumphant return to the moon. In a whirlwind campaign, the commander of the moon mission gains a seat in the U.S. Senate and seems like a favored candidate for the upcoming Presidential race, until he dies under mysterious circumstances while on the campaign trail. The police detective assigned to the case digs a little deeper than her superiors would like, and finds herself involved in not one, but two far-reaching conspiracies that could very well alter mankind’s destiny on Earth.

That second idea was born out of an attempt to play Primetime Adventures several months ago. Chris Miller, Miscellaneous G™ and I fleshed out the basic premise over a couple of hours one evening, but the idea has been simmering in the back of my head ever since, and I’d love to fill in the details.

I’d definitely feel more comfortable writing in (or near to) the present day, but over the weekend I started mind-mapping the gas-lit detective story using Bubbl.us, a free online brainstorming tool. I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped, but it was cool to mess around with Bubbl.us for a couple of hours.

Then there’s the matter of word-processors. Last year I used yWriter for both Yesterday’s Tomorrow and the untitled superhero novel, and I loved it. Unfortunately, yWriter is a Windows application and this year I’ll probably be doing most of my writing in Linux. I’ve yet to identify a suitable substitute (at least as far as yWriter’s outlining and character tools are concerned), so I’ll probably be using OpenOffice.org or Google Docs. I’m leaning toward the former, as I’m not sure I’ll always have a reliable Internet connection when I’m writing and Google Docs is an online app.

I haven’t found a decent progress meter yet, either. The API for NaNoWriMo.org is nowhere to be found on the official website at present, so I may have to revert to the home-grown progress meter I made a couple of years ago.

So I’ve got two and a half days to decide what I’m going to write, how I’m going to write it and how I’m going to keep track of my progress here at KJToo.com. Oh, and did I mention the five-minute essays I need to write and record for The NaNoMonkeys? Yeah, there’s those, too.

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