It is October 31 and all around the world our attention turns to horror. To fright. To fear. El horror, in Spanish. Il spavento, in Italy. La horreur, in French. Eh, Gruwel, gruweldaad, verschrikking, afgrijzen, afschrik, afschuw, walging, weerzin, and/or verschrikking in Dutch.
I am referring of course to NaNoWriMo, which starts tomorrow. My special sympathies go out to those of you who were planning to start a novel in November anyway and now have to explain to people that it doesn’t really have anything to do with NaNoWriMo and put up with them going, “Yeah, yeah.”
Yes, I’ve got a novel in me, and I’m going to get it out this month if it’s the last thing I do. It’s one of those ideas that sort of come back to you in the fallow times, like when you’re commuting or pretending to listen to someone. I thought I’d had it all worked out, given that I’ve been thinking about it for almost a year. But a week or so ago I was talking to someone who’s starting a novel, and she was going on about it and it all sounded very solid. Then she asked me what mine was about and I was stumped.
“Uh,” I said. About? It’s got to be about something? What do you mean by about, exactly?
“Eh, well, it’s got miniature helicopters,” I said.
“Cool.” (This is one supportive friend, man.)
“And a lake of fire.” Luckily I had some crisis and had to terminate the conversation.
So that’s what I’m working on for the month of November. The NaNoWriMo goal is 50,000 words, quality is not a factor. That works out to just under 1,700 words/day, if you write every day all month. My plan, though, is to cut back on blogging, eliminate IM conversations and stop playing yahoo.com wordracer for a while. If I can channel all that word production into this novel, I figure I’ll finish sometimes in the second half of the first week, after which I can make fun of everyone else and bug them on AIM etc.