November is right about the corner which, of course, means that National Novel Writing Month (otherwise known as NaNoWriMo) is upon us again. Just in case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is — and if you are reading this, you probably know me, which means you probably also know what NaNoWriMo is — it’s a month-long frenzy where participants from all over the world sit down and decide to write an entire 50,000-word novel in the month of November. I’ve participated every year since 2001 (though I skipped 2002), and every year I’ve “won” — which is to say, I’ve completed a 50,000 word novel every time I’ve participated. And this year, for the third year in a row, I’m also signing on as a Municipal Liaison, which means helping to set up events and write-ins for NaNoWriMo participants in the Sacramento region; so in addition to writing my own novel, I’m going to be helping dozens of other writers finish their own novels. Insane as it all sounds, it’s actually quite rewarding, and a level of fun that’s probably illegal in some states.
The first year I participated in NaNoWriMo, I wrote a dark urban fantasy novel. I’ve also written a couple of science fiction epics, and, since 2005, I’ve focused on comic horror novels that have epic scopes. I’ve been calling them comic epic horror novels, but I’m not sure that’s an appropriate term. This year, though, I’ve decided to do something a little different, and write a novel that is primarily mainstream. It’s tentatively called Code Monkey! A Love Story with Occasional Monsters. It’s inspired by the music of Jonathan Coulton (and if you haven’t checked out Jonathan Coulton, you really ought to) and yes, even though it’s ostensibly a mainstream novel, it’s got some genre elements in it. I’m planning on incorporating Bigfoot, a giant squid, and at least a couple of zombies. It should be fun. And I’ll be putting my output on line as I generate it.
NaNoWriMo is run by the Office of Letters and Light (OLL), a non-profit organization which is dedicated to inspiring people to reach their creative potential. What I really like about them, though, is their Young Writers Program; through the YWP, the OLL works with schools and communities to get children and teenagers involved in expressing their own creative selves through novels, screenplays, and other activities. In my mind, inspiring the creativity and dedication that comes with writing a novel or a screenplay is a great cause.
So here’s where I’m making my shameless plea for support.
On November 22, the OLL holds a write-a-thon event in San Francisco entitled “The Night of Writing Dangerously”. NaNoWriMo participants from all over the country get together that night to meet, mingle, hang out, write, and participate in a raffle or two. I’m trying to raise $300 so that Jennifer — who is also participating this year — and I can both go. The money all goes to the Office of Letters and Light, of course, so that they can continue their inspiring activities.
To contribute, click here or on the image below:
No matter how frustrating NaNoWriMo can be, it’s always a blast. Thanks to everyone who can support me, either financially or in spirit.