NaNoWriMo — 2010

Well, let the games begin.  I’m sure that for the younger crowd, the games began just past midnight.

A brief reminder for those of you unacquainted with NaNoWriMo.  It stands for National Novel Writing Month.  It is an online event (more so than a “contest”) in which the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of the month of November.  I use it as a tool to actually force myself to sit down and write.  Not that I have a problem with writing or anything like that.  It is more the idea of integrating the writing of a novel within the framework of a busy time of year.

There is so much going on right now in my life and so much more because of the “holiday season”.  However, I have “won” this thing for each of the last three years.  In 2007, I wrote “Swansong”, a hard-boiled piece about a former disgraced Wichita police detective returning to the city five years later to find what, if anything happened to his kid brother.  I’m working on the sixth draft of that.  In 2008, I wrote “The Stooges”, an episodic dark comic crime caper about three losers deciding to commit a crime in order to make money, but first trying to figure out WHAT crime to commit.  In 2009, I honored my brother-in-law, Greg, by writing “The .9 mm Solution”, a police procedural involving FBI profilers.  I’m on my fifth draft of that.  (He got a nicely bound copy of the fourth draft.)

This year it’s “Professor Thug”, a crime fiction about a former gang member/convict turned college professor with a unique and unorthodox style who’s forced to return to some old haunts to investigate the murder of a former student.  The character is inspired by a current co-worker whose appearance belies his intelligence.  He has been a pleasure to know and converse with.

I have found two things about NaNoWriMo.  First, it is very motivational for me from the standpoint of developing a story and then forcing myself through an utterly horrendous first draft.  Eventually, it will become something.  But I can not be like Flaubert and casually write, searching for the perfect word.  At least not until I have 50,000 imperfect words to play with first.  The other thing is that I am amazed at how many people here in Wichita, KS are involved.  The large percentage of them are considerably younger than I am but that is a gratifying thought.  For whatever reason they are involved is not as important as their involvement itself.  That means creative people attempting to express themselves.

Tonight, 3756 words.  That puts me ahead of the day two schedule.  More updates to follow.



  1. Sharyl Friebus said,

    November 2, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Sounds like you’re off to a great start. Good luck!


    • tikiman1962 said,

      November 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks. I’ve got to make sure I have plenty of time available to make bread and other good things for Thanksgiving. As I’ve always said, “It’s all about the food.”


  2. lawrenceez said,

    November 3, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Sounds very interesting. Not sure I would manage it though, I tend to get writer’s block a lot. Best of luck.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      November 3, 2010 at 6:38 am

      You do get writer’s block occasionally. But the point is to keep writing through it, get your numbers in and call it good. Until you go back to edit and then your work looks like a house hit by a tornado and you have to sort through the mess.


  3. lawrenceez said,

    November 6, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Exactly what I’m doing at the moment, though I’m enjoying the process

    Hope it all works out for you.




    • tikiman1962 said,

      November 6, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      I got to 4 days ahead because I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything on the weekend. As usual, the first draft is a load of rubbish. All I’m hoping for is 50,000 words of rubbish. Remember The Shining: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.


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