“NaNoWriMo” is shorthand for “National Novel Writing Month” and there’s a site that promotes it. The goal on this site is to write a 50,000 word novel in only 30 days. Not a trivial task.
I’ve decided to give it a whirl this year, as has Anna. To help each other out, we’re adding CDs to our Amazon wish list, and when one of us reaches each 10,000 mark, the other has to buy them one of the CDs.
I doubt I’ll make it the whole way through. I have too many other things I’m working on, such as Ground Zero, plus I know how easily I’m distracted by computer games and such. But I’ll give it the old college try.
The topic I chose for my novel is one close to my heart. It’s called The Geektique and it’s the story of Collin, a twenty-something-year-old guy who owns a store dealing in comics, games, toys, and such. But the thing is, he’s becoming fed up with the whole fandom scene. He’s become disgusted with many of the people he has to deal with on a daily basis. When a new woman enters his life, who isn’t involved with this world at all, he finds himself embarrassed by his connection to it, but also defending it. In the process he learns the importance of family and what it means to be human. Or something. It’s really just an excuse to exorcise some of my demons regarding this particular little area of my life. Honestly, though, I’m really trying not to make Collin just a stand-in for me. I’ve started by making him actually like manga!
It’s written in little vignettes, which makes it a lot easier to write. When I think of a scene, I can just write it up rather than having to work it into more of a narrative. I know in my head who the main characters are, but I should probably write that down. (Hey Anna, do character sketches count towards my word total?) In the little bit I’ve written so far (>1000 words!) there are a lot of geek references and in-jokes; I may need a glossary. I don’t know if a lot of it will make sense to people who aren’t “in the know” which is not my goal.
Here’s the first scene I wrote. WARNING! Contains adult language! I try to keep this blog family friendly, but my other writing, much less so. So shield the kiddies from my naughty, naughty prose.
I caught two kids shoplifting today. I’d suspected them before, so I had an eye on them this time. Bastards were slipping Rifts books into their jackets. It’s bad enough that they steal from me, but they’re stealing books for a crappy game.
John was in the store talking to me, so as I watched the kids, I told him to go stand by the door. He’s a big guy, and I didn’t feel bad about using him as a human roadblock. As they headed for the door, I asked if they’d found everything they were looking for.
“Yeah,” one of them mumbled.
“Well, tell you what,” I said. “Why don’t you open your jackets for me?”
One of them was visibly shaken, but the other kept his cool. He refused. “Why?”
“Because you guys put books in your jackets.”
“You’re a fucking liar,” said the brave one. “I’m not unzipping my jacket for you.” He motioned for the other to follow them and headed for the door. John dutifully stood in front.
“Move!” said the brave kid.
I didn’t want to pull John into this any more, so I picked up the phone. “Tell you what. I’m just gonna call the police, and you can open your jacket for them.” I started dialing.
The not-so-brave one started shaking. “Hang on.” He unzipped his jacket and produced the book. “I’m sorry,” he said, his voice shaking. The other one looked at him with disdain. “You pussy,” he muttered.
I took the book from him and turned to the other. I hated this kind of stuff. I’m not good at confrontations, and even though I had ten years on these kids, this was making me nervous. “Let’s have yours. I won’t call the cops if you just give it up.”
He sighed and rolled his eyes, but ultimately he reached in and pulled out the book, slamming it hard on the counter.
“There!” he said. “Now tell fatass there to move.”
“Hang on.” I said. “First, I don’t ever want to see you in here again.”
“Oh no,” he said. “I can’t come in this shitty fag store anymore?”
I ignored this. I looked at the books. Two crappy sourcebooks for a crappy game. “This is sad,” I said out loud. “What could be more pathetic than stealing this stuff?”
“Paying for it,” said the smartass one.
“Get out of here.” John stepped aside and the two left, with the leader flipping me off once he got outside.
The thing is, he was kind of right.