Sunday, 30 October 2011

Right, I promise this is the last time I'll mention it

OK then. You win. I give up. I'm going to have a go at this writing-a-novel-in-a-month thing. From Tuesday morning November is going to pass by in a flurry of creativity, stress and frustration as I try to conjure up the required 1,700 words every day. Several people have asked questions and I'll try to answer them here.

What are you going to do?

I'm going to do the whole NaNoWriMo thing and aim to write a novel of no less than 50,000 words in the month of November. I won't be alone - there are something like 250,000 people across the globe attempting the same thing?

So it's difficult, then?

I think so. I mean, I've never done it before. Mind you, I've never skied down Mount Everest, naked and clutching a rose between my teeth either.

Actually, forget that last bit. It's not a nice image for anyone.

Why are you doing this?

Two reasons:

a) To see if I can. Loads of people say they have a novel in them; fewer actually get down to writing it. Throwing away all inhibitions and just sitting down to write daily for a period of time is perhaps the way.

b) To raise some money for a good cause. I would like people to sponsor me to do this.

What's the cause?

Mind - the UK's principal mental health charity. They do great things - go read their website for more details.

Why should I sponsor you?

Several reasons. Firstly, it's a great cause and worthy of your cash. Second, you will add to my misery by piling on the pressure. And finally, I have a unique offer to make.

A unique offer?

Oh yes. The first ten people to sponsor me get a character in the novel named after them.


Indeed. But I get to choose what happens to your character. They might be a drug-dealer. They could be a raving idiot. They could perish in a freak yachting accident. Which would be odd, as I don't actually envision that sort of thing happening in the plot. Yet.

How do I sponsor you?

I'm very glad you asked. You can go here. Or if you know me in person, bend my ear a little.

Is there any guarantee we'll see a finished novel by 30 November?

No. I have to be honest with you. This will be hard. I've never done it before. (Remember the Everest-ski-naked-rose-teeth thing?) I make you no promises. Sorry, but there you go. I will have a bloody good try though.

It's worth remembering that even if I do finish, it's likely to be pretty poor, as far as polished novels go. Rushing around is not normally a good thing when it comes to things like this. But that's not really the point.

What's the book about?

Good question. Although I'm not allowed to write a single word of the actual book until 00:01 on Tuesday, I have an outline plot. There are some gaps. It's set in the modern day, with elements of fantasy, horror, humour, action and condensed milk.

How will you do this?

I will devote my waking hours to writing the necessary 1,667 words per day. Well, I say 'my waking hours'. The hours I spend at work will, of course, remain sacrosanct. In case my boss is reading this, I will continue to be fully focused on what, for want of a better term, I refer to as my career. I quite like having a job and the things that come with it. Like paying the mortgage, for instance.

I have got some days off in November, which I'll more than likely fill with catching up.

Who won the FA Cup in 1958?

Bolton Wanderers. It has nothing to do with the point in hand, but thanks for asking.

If you're successful, will I be able to read the final novel?

Really? You must be a sucker for punishment. OK then. But I might want to polish it a little first.

How will I keep up to date with your progress?

I'll put the odd update on here when I get the chance. Which kind of makes the title of this post a bit of a lie. So sue me. Or better still, sponsor me.

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