So what would make someone sequester themselves for a month to write with literary abandon? Well, for one thing, I work best under deadlines and thirty days is more than enough to get 50,000 words in if your burdened with an overactive imagination and quick fingers.
For another thing, I truly enjoy writing. It's one of my great loves, along with RPGs, and technology. If I don't get the words out my head will explode.
Lastly, it's all for a good cause. The Office of Letters and Light runs National Novel Writing Month to support writing education for adults and kids alike. Efforts like The Young Writers Program and Camp NaNoWriMo teach the art of creative writing world wide. I would ask that you please consider a donation to these worthy causes.
To write a novel as part of NaNoWriMo, I generally start chewing on ideas around March. About July I begin writing down scene concepts and interesting dialog snippets. This I compile in a list and wait, like a fisherman patiently holding his line in the water.
When November rolls around, I begin. By this time I have a pretty good idea of the initial scene, the climatic ending, and some interesting tidbits that will likely fit somewhere in the middle. I write and write pausing only long enough to research an area, person, or object. Since I write historical fiction, Wikipedia is my friend.
I don't stop for anything. If I get hung up on a word, phrase, or bit of dialog I simply insert some bracketed text with instructions of what should go in there.
is an example. I want a character to lighten the pace but I'm not sure how. So I add a place marker and go back to it later.
In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't write the novel I'd intended in March. A new idea hit around October so my timeline was compressed dramatically. I still used some of the scenes and dialog but the story line was completely different from what I'd planned to write. I think this lead to a significant problem. My novel ended before the magical 50,000 words required to win. So I went back to all the <> marks and expanded them with greater detail than initially imagined. I also went back and made sure I had all the scenes fully described. Since I love dialog more than settings, I tend to gloss over painting a picture in favor of conversation.
Now, about the novel.
|Cover by Matt Jackson|
The title is A Hitch in Time. It's the third of my Thomas Gunn Detective stories following The New Moon Murders and Prescription for Revenge. Like the others, this story takes place in 1930's Chicago and attempts to merge HP Lovecraft's horror, Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled detectives, and Lester Dent's pulp adventures with some Athey humor used to keep things interesting.
Old characters return as psychic detective Thomas Gunn and his sneak thief partner Jean Louis do more than just race against time to solve a crime; they must fix time itself before the beast in Lake Michigan awakens and destroys the American Midwest.
If A Hitch in Time follows Prescription for Revenge's pace, I should have the novel ready to release sometime in early 2014. While that may seem like a long time, the editing process is grueling and I utilize/abuse my friends to help get the work ready for a professional editor. On the up side, I hope to have last year's NaNoWriMo project ready to release in March.
In the mean time, The Savage Duck and I have plans to begin releasing game material based on the stories. This should sync up nicely with the release of Deadlands Noir. Expect to hear more about that soon.