Another Year, Another Novel

posted on October 31st, 2009

Those of you who have known me for any length of time know that each November I participate in National Novel Writing Month. Fifty thousand words of new fiction in thirty days. Or, in my case, since I will be out of town from November 26–29, fifty thousand words in about twenty-five days. So, instead of the usual 1,667 words per day, I will be aiming for about 2,000. No pressure, though.

This will be my sixth year of literary abandon—starting in half an hour here in the Pittsburgh area. I’ve got my Moleskine notebook open, pages covered with scribbles … character sketches, random plot thoughts, theme information, etc.
I’ve got OneNote open—which is where I keep all my writing notes for all projects. I ingested my second cup of coffee about two hours ago, something I NEVER do because I get heart palpitations from too much caffeine–and even with
the impending time change at 2 a.m., I’ll still be up till Tuesday. I’m watching AMC’s back-to-back airings of “Night of the Living Dead” on the TV here in my office. m-1

Even Murray, my office guinea pig and personal mascot, has been giddy and wide awake all evening here in his large enclosure behind me. The excitement in the air is that palpable.

Until about fifteen minutes ago, though, I had absolutely no clue where to start this piece of craziness. It hadn’t really sunk in yet that, at midnight, when I can officially begin writing, I would need to know what the opening scene was likely going to be. I had been so busy doing weird bits of research into the Knights Templar (don’t ask!) that I had forgotten to jot down a few ideas on where to start when I start. So now I have the opening scene outlined sparsely … and have no clue what comes after that scene.

This is why I love National Novel Writing Month. It’s so good for my blood pressure.

And, as I post my inner feelings of angst and euphoria throughout the month (often in the same paragraph), get used to this little guy. He’ll be helping you visually oriented readers get a quick idea of how I am doing on my word count.

T-minus 15 minutes! Just enough time to take a bathroom break, take a blood pressure pill, and take a handful of leftover Halloween candy….