Soon again: NaNoWriMo

So: the day after tomorrow it will be NaNoWriMo time again; the glorious November of the National Novel Writing Month; and I’ll be trying my damnedest to wring out 1700 words or more daily to get to the total of 50 000 by the end of the month.

If you say to yourself “Why, that sounds like an abhorrently masochistic exercise!” — why yes, exactly. But as I am a tad masochistic (helps with studying mathematics, it does), and derive uncomfortably uncritical pleasure from reading my own words, it’s something I’ve done three times already.

(S/Gl)adly the results are in Finnish; I suppose they wouldn’t much enlighten the average net-users even if I posted them here.

Instead, I’ll post snippets of my blog posts that referenced the last two bouts, 2008 and 2007 — the first was before this blog — so you can get a keener appreciation of why you don’t want to read them there dogs.

* * *

If I had to give a few keywords for the novel, something like this would do: conspiracy nuts, jumping at shadows, smallpox, woo, Scottish fold cats, and unspeakable hamster things.

This mood of suspense was heightened, I think, by the fact that most of the time I had no idea what was going to happen.

* * *

One of the pieces was actually a giant repeated and repeated joke: my main character had to chase a maniac through a sales fair of various CAM woo-woo people, and I churned out some 800 words of woo advertising that, sadly, was only half made up. And if you think “Aww, repeated CAM jokes aren’t so bad” — well, this was. The ad was for a shady business selling all kinds of, erm, flavored enemas.

Including coffee-based ones and ones with intoxicating alcohol in them, which are actually real. To continue this idea of stimulants, I made up (I hope) the contraption whose effects, uh, simulate smoking for that particular orifice.

Old vices for new (back)ends!

* * *

I guess I’ll know the title when I get the last strands of the story together. There’s still a bit of uncertainty there, but once I know the beginning and the end, the name should be easy to choose.

If it ain’t, I’ll call this one “Novel 3″ and let the reader puzzle over it.

Or then “When Blind Mole Rats Attack!” — that would be a nice bit of misdirection by creating false expectations.

Wait; I’ll squirrel “When Blind Mole Rats Attack! — A Tale of Blind Love and Gnawy Teeth” away for a potential subject for next year…

* * *

NaNoWriMo at 21 000 / 50 000 words after 11 / 30 days, slightly ahead of schedule. A conspiracy nut has proposed reality TV as the psychologists’ successor to the Milgram experiment (“They couldn’t do such an experiment now… or could they?”), and a man has declined to answer the question “Where’s that hamster? Where did you put it?”, and the answer, even if should it be forthcoming in the future, doesn’t seem to be anything except icky.

* * *

Currently a Satanist is trying to find a man she’s never seen before all Hell breaks loose.

Er, figuratively. And though I’m writing the thing I don’t know whether any breakage will happen — I’ve killed off most of my characters already (always a chancy thing after writing just a fifth of your novel, unless you do zombies) so maybe I should wipe out Helsinki as well.

“Virtual carnage is fun!” he cried with a demented leer.

* * *

Also, NaNoWriMo novel at 4500 words out of 50 000 after two writing days. Now with fratricidal cannibalism!

* * *

When writing comes and flows, it is the greatest drug and the most amazing ecstasy. When it doesn’t, your mind feels like your hind parts do after spending a night redecorating the toilet with traces of explosive diarrhea and spent rolls of t-paper.

* * *

By the way, the NaNoWriMo novel ‘2050 : A University’s End’ is at 37 950 words of 50 000, and has been possessed by a sinister storybook character, a reverse ex-student Santa, and a lot of gun-waving and PR lying. I have only a good guess of where the story’s going, and no idea on how it’s going to end.

* * *

Further technical details: TeXnicCenter to edit the raw text (err, tex?), and MiKTeX 2.5 distribution (guess I should update — 2.7 is apparently out) and associated applications to crunch it into nicely typeset PDF — or DVI, or PS, or whatever.

* * *

And what will the novelish abomination of 2009 be about? Well, I haven’t quite decided yet; which is half the reason I’m thinking aloud about the matter like this. The top contenders (ideas are easy, bad ideas easier still, as the saying says) are:

a) a fake nonfiction book about the sad case of the Mars mission of 2035; first an explosion killed all but two of the returning crew, and then one of them went insane; not nice space-trippy insane but brooding oh-god-what-next cannibal insane; and soon the NASA-equivalent had its hands full censoring his official Twitter-equivalent messages, and worrying how the ship would come crashing down and where, and how and when the truth would leak out;

b) something set in an alternate reality where ghosts are real beyond all doubt, though still an elusive, unexplained thing and a mystery to science, and an acute embarrassment to religion; and where a group of academicians with unclean desires learns that one doth not copulate with the spirit world, and a graduate student learns that universities have secrets that one might not want to know; and by the way of exchange students and staff, the Japanese school ghost story of Toire no Hanako-san or Hanako of the Toilet features, as does my favorite of the peculiarly enchanting Japanese ghosties, Kuchisake-onna of fleet feet and wide grin;

c) something set in the Finland of 500 years ago, with bandits, skulking academicians, familiars, and weird Cthulhoid powers at work;

d) something set in the present day, where a girl whose hobby is to cause chaos and befuddlement (that is, to do terrible psychological pranks, and no harm) ends up applying those skills against Generic Plot Device (Threat) C;

e) something pretty much like fantasy; though my mind being what it is, it would be the story of a boy that’s the last survival of an ancient and noble breed — the ancient and noble breed of the rabble-rousing Lords of Evil, that is; barely concealed and badly constructed snark would follow, and also struggle against a shallow, misguided and homicidal Standard Troupe of Heroes.

f) something where a student says “I’ve had enough! I’m going to get to the bottom of this shared-flat disturbance” — and soon discovers those are deeper deeps than he thought; they contain loose apes, walled-up chambers, physicists up to no good, and a linguist (or a biologist?) who has gone beyond all supervision and all ethical guidelines in investigating the “bekos” matter.

Why yes, I like my stories weird.

So many ideas; so much laziness.

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