Saturday, October 31, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015: Day 0

Scott D. Parker

So, I’m doing NaNoWriMo. Last year, I did my own version. Instead of a 50,000-word novel, I *completed* a novel. I published it this year as The Phantom Automobiles. It was the first Gordon Gardner investigation. This year, I’m writing Gordon’s second investigation.

I’ve been brainstorming the work during October. I’ve got most of the book more or less mapped out. I’m using some of the techniques I learned with Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker. (My review) I’m constructing the book a little differently. Before now, I was plot first. With the Hawker method, I’m approaching Gardner 02 with character first. In addition to character, I have an arc. With these two things in place, any scene that doesn’t contribute to the arc or character, I don’t use. It’s a different way of building a story so it’s a little…interesting. I don’t like the word ‘scary.’ I’m actually looking forward to the process.

I don’t have a working title yet. I toyed with “Who Killed Bobby Brooks?” but I’m going with “Gardner 02”. I might develop one along the way. If I do, I’ll let y’all know.

The blurb isn’t quite ready. In general, this is the opening scene: Gordon Gardner, demoted from his investigative reporter position to that of society reporter, desperately wants his job back. At a big shindig, he overhears a couple of known shady types talk of a planned heist against one of Houston’s most influential men, a cattle baron who runs a gambling ring out of his house. Moments after this fact lands in his ears, Gordon hears one of those men murdered. And he’s the only suspect. Now, inside the interrogation room, Gordon Gardner makes a decision: he will investigate the case on his own and win back his old job. What could go wrong? Only another murder and a whole lot of people who suddenly decide that Gardner must know more than he’s letting on.

And I’m adding a wrinkle: I’m documenting the process in public. Each week, here at DoSomeDamage, I’ll provide a weekly recap. But every day, I’ll provide a quick post on my author sites (blogspot and; maybe twitter as well) to provide daily word count. Why am I doing this? I want to show the public what an author like me—with day job—can do during NNWM. I’m tipping the hat to Dean Wesley Smith who does this all the time. I just thought I’ll try. 

A caveat: my version of NNWM is a completed manuscript for a book. That book may or may not get to 50,000. It may go more, it may go less. The Phantom Automobiles came in around 31,000 words and I was cool with that. Gardner 02…we’ll see. 

So, there you go. NNWM 2015 starts tomorrow. Who’s in?


Holly West said...

I'm looking forward to reading about your progress, Scott. I'm so tempted to do NaNo this year but there's a whole bunch of reasons why it's a bad idea. Still, if I can manage to come up with a reasonable plot (or at least direction) today, I might dive in tomorrow.

I like the idea of using the character/arc as a starting point. Usually, I start with a premise and theme, then work from there. Might give this method a try though.

Good luck!

Scott D. Parker said...

I'm convinced that NNWM is best done by those writers like me who plan ahead and go. I can't imagine doing it on the fly. Even this past week, as my brainstorming moved to an actual structured outline, new ideas came to me...that helped the earlier part of the outline. Basically, I've avoided some road blocks.

We'll see how it goes. Thanks for the support.

Elgin Bleecker said...

You are a brave man. It takes guts to attempt NNWM and to be public about it. Good luck. I’m rooting for you.