NaNoWriMo 2008

In exactly one month, I will embark on a quest of epic proportions. To write a 50,000 word novel in one month or less.

November is the National Novel Writing Month, a quasi-competition that I have wanted to participate in for about four years now. You don’t win a prize or anything for completing the challenge, but it does prove quite aptly that you, no matter who you are, are capable of writing a novel.

Of course, it’s hard work to complete 50,000 words in a month, but it’s a fun exercise and, even if you don’t finish, you at least participated. You got out and tried, sat down and wrote, and maybe met some new people along the way.

Springfield has a NaNoWriMo group that meets and encourages one another, and I want to invite you all to join me this year as we journey towards authorship. If you’ve ever been interested in writing, you should definitely give this a try. Even if you can’t finish, it at least gets you going, and there are certainly eleven more months during which you can work on the piece before next year’s NaNoWriMo.

As for me, I’ll be working on a science fiction novel I dreamed up a few months ago. I’m pretty excited, but the trade-off is that I’ll have absolutely no social life during the month of November. I’ll go to work, I’ll attend class, and I’ll attend church on Sunday mornings from 11-12. Other than that, I’ll be gone, sitting at my desk or various coffee shops working away.

I think we’re going to have a write-in on Saturday, November 1, starting at midnight (so we’ll probably meet late on Friday) if you’d like to join us; check out the forum for details. I’ll have more updates here as we near the beginning of November. Until then, think about what you might want to write on and sharpen those pencils!

Wild Cards

While we were at the library last night, I picked up a scifi/fantasy book of short stories that I hadn’t heard of before. Apparently, it is written/organized by George R.R. Martin (he had edited this particular book, at least, and the website mentions him prominently), but I’ve somehow never heard of it before.

The premise is that, shortly after World War II, some alien virus spreads over the world and everyone gets some sort of “Card” effect. I don’t know if there’s a literal deck from which people draw or if that’s just how the people have come to explain it, but the books seem to (at least in the first two stories I’ve read) relate the tales of those who “drew cards” that gave them amazing powers and abilities.

Specifically, the book I’m reading talks about those who are Aces. Individuals with super powers, like the ability to fly or teleport or, in the case of the second story, turn into bugs. They are not really superheroes because they don’t necessarily do heroic things, but they are super. And while I don’t normally like short stories, the idea intrigues me.

As a general rule, I avoid books like this because the story always ends just as I get really interested. Short stories tend to climax quick, then end, and I’m always left wanting more. They’re not satisfying. But I get the impression that this book (and hopefully the others published along the same lines) have an overarching theme or some sort of plot to tie them together. A common thread that will make itself known throughout or by the end of the book that will have made it worthwhile.

Of course, it may not. That’s just the impression I have gotten in the first twenty  pages, and if it’s off-base, I’ll probably never read one of these books again. But it’s worth a try (especially when I haven’t read anything just for entertainment in so long).