Monday, 11 October 2010

Novels, Novels, everywhere...

The combination of low summer sun, recasting the smears on my windscreen as opaque tigerstripes, and Radio 4's Book Programme whispering in my ears seems to be my recipe for inspiration. So, another long journey yesterday: another novel idea.

My mind is working on novels at the moment as National Novel Writing Month approaches. NaNoWriMo, as it's known, asks you to write a brand new 50,000 word novel, from scratch, in the 30 days of November. Only one week of actually planning is allowed, but that doesn't preclude thinking about it and casting about for ideas.

The idea behind this was originally to get non-writers to take part and see what they could do, so why am I, I hear you ask, taking part in this? Well, as you might already have worked out, I need a deadline. And, being a budding novellist, the only deadline you have is a self-imposed one. We all know how stretchy they can be. So, by taking the challenge of NaNoWriMo - and by telling everyone that I'm taking the challenge! - I hope to force myself into producing at least a workable first draft of a new work before the 1st December.

So, as the month approaches, and I start to think about what I'm taking on, my mind, as I say, has been throwing novel ideas out at an alarming rate. I now have three completely different ideas to chose from and I find myself in a quandary. So, I shall turn myself over to you, and let you make the decision.

What follows are short indications of the three ideas I've had. Let me know, by commenting, by email, by text, by call, by pigeon, or by letter held in a cleft stick by a small boy, which one you want me to write, and I will:

1. A novel about the lives of a depressed man and a troubled teenage girl.

2. An action-type story in which the protagonist is caught in the backwash of a much larger story.

3. The walls of reality and imagination break down and only a man with no imagination can help.

So... that's it. Let me know what you think, and then keep watching as I slowly disintegrate over the month .

For more on NaNoWriMo go to


  1. What about 1 in November, 2 in December and 3 in January? Or maybe November, January and March so you have a bit of a rest? Then you'd have 150,000 words by Easter!

  2. Or, and I did actually consider this, I could write two of them at once... 100,000 words in a month?

  3. No.3 got my attention, although it might be wish-fulfillment on my part that someone with no obvious marketable assets suddenly discovers that he is indispensable....[sigh]