Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Excitement of NaNoWriMo Eve

What you're probably thinking is, "It's not NaNoWhatever Eve.  It's Halloween!"  You're right about the second half of that, of course, unless you prefer to call the holiday by any of its other names like Samhain, All Saint's Day, Dia de Muertos, etc.

To me, though, it's NaNoWriMo Eve.

Part of the reason for that is my rather dismal lack of interest in celebrating Halloween. First, I grew up in a really poor family in a rather poor area of a fairly poor town in Mississippi.  Thus, I don't know if they had all the fancy costume makeup and paraphernalia or not back then; my costume usually consisted of a sheet or some old clothes and one of those flimsy plastic masks.  Remember those?  They looked like they could almost be a likeness of somebody famous.  When you wore them, the first trick was finding a way to see through the itty-bitty eye holes, while the second was finding a way to breathe.  Minor inconveniences, though, compared to that dang cord.  The cheap elastic cord that tried to saw into the tops of your ears was always breaking, and when it gave in to physics it always did so with a loud plasticky thwap

You'd hear those thwap sounds, usually followed by a squeal of pain, around the neighborhood and know that somebody's mask just broke.  We all winced at the mental image of a mask sliding slowly down onto the kid's chest, the child too busy rubbing his sliced-open ear to worry about the plastic part.

This was also back in the days when people used to give fruit and homemade stuff instead of the safely-wrapped store-bought chocolaty stuff.  In fact, I was in the age group that is the reason people now usually only give the safely-wrapped store-bought chocolaty stuff.  Early in my Halloween career we started hearing the first horror stories about people putting razor blades and needles into fruit and candy.  Suddenly every little morsel we collected in our cheap, thin plastic pumpkin-shaped buckets was suspect and had to be double-inspected by Mom and Dad before it could be eaten.

But finally, eaten it was, and yay!  What a treat!  Chocolate for the entire night!

When I woke up the next morning, what a treat!  Stomach ache for the entire day!

So yeah.  Halloween: ththththffffffphphphphphphphphffffft.

NaNoWriMo: yaaaaayyyyyy!  Now there's something to get excited about.

First, this is the year I will extend my record into more Ws than Ls.  I know, 1-1 is hardly a historical record, but it's what I've got, and I'm looking forward to it being 2-1.

I'm also looking forward to turning out a decent book.  The first time I did NaNo, I started out on a story concept with no real plan, and I failed at about 23K words when I ran out of story concept to write.  This last time I started out the same way, and when I reached that magical point in the book (yes, five novels later, 23K seems to be my stumbling point) I just pushed through by adding more explosions, killing more people, whapping more words in.

I got to 50K last year, but that book is never, ever going to see the light of day.

This year?  I have a plan.  I actually have a five page synopsis of how the story is going to go, in fact.  Over the past few days I've worked out an opening scene in my head, and the critical scene where the protagonist meets the series antagonist is planned out and acted out and even voiced out, and so now all I need to do is--well, it's the writing.

Which, due to NaNo rules, I can't do till tomorrow.

Hence the excitement.

I can't wait for NaNoWriMo to begin this year.  But if you do have any extra chocolate, I won't mind a piece or two....


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