Sunday, October 30, 2011


So the wife is going to be undertaking NaNoWriMo in just a couple of days - 30 days of writing to try to produce a 50,000 word novel in just one month (hence the name - NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth). I'd thought about doing it as well, but I have a major set-back... to qualify as a "winner", your novel has to be 100% new stuff, no using any writing you've done before. But, I've decided I'm going to try and keep up... not in an official NaNoWriMo capacity, as I'd like to try to continue the work I'd started before on "The Case of Lost Possibilities" (man, I need a new title for that).

Also, it means that if I get stuck writing the book, I can flit back to writing RPG stuff (while I'm still working on how the game system works).

So, why am I suddenly inspired to write fiction?

"Lost Possibilities" started out as a comic that didn't make it to page 1. I'd been brainstorming ideas with Mark Hiblen about a guy with a suitcase that would be a quantum entity - it could contain anything until you actually opened it and quantified its contents.

Nothing happened with it, but a few years ago I was inspired to get back to writing it as prose rather than a comic. I'd done around 8,000-10,000 words before I decided it was just too bizarre and weird to actually be read by anyone. I'd posted about half of it online at my other blog (which I've since taken down as no one was reading it) and just gave up for the time being, thinking that maybe, one day, further down the line, I'd go back to it.

I'd originally put it online in chunks inspired by David Wong's "John Dies at the End". I'd read the first couple of chapters online years ago, had it in my Safari bookmarks for ages, and never really got around to reading the rest. But his was a great success story - the novel posted online was read by people, gained cult status, had a limited print run, was picked up by the director of Phantasm (yay!) and has become a film and had a big commercial print run...

I recently finished reading the book (just a couple of days ago, actually) and it's easily gone into my top 10 favourite books. But what really struck me was (a) how weird it was, and (b) how it was like David Wong (not his real name) had used the Soy Sauce to pluck ideas and stuff from out of my brain. Always weird when you have that moment when you finish a book and say "That's just like something I'd have written!"

So, inspired by the coolness of Wong's book (which you should all read by the way, or at least check out the film when it comes out) and how similar it is to my writing, I've decided to go back to "Lost Possibilites" and see if I can bash it into a coherent whole. I'll probably get so far, give up, and then have this same experience next year when I read "John Dies at the End 2" (aka "This book is full of spiders - seriously dude, don't touch it!")

So, while I'm not on NaNoWriMo, I'll be posting what my word counts are as the month progresses...


Magpie_Elle said...

Woo! NaNo Madness!

I liked 'John Dies at the End' a great deal and I'm glad they're making a film of it. Your idea sounds you just have an idea for the premise or a whole fleshed out plot (I'm not asking you to post it up - that would be filled with spoilers!)? I always find I have great characters and worlds but no plots.

NaNo is great for getting the words out on a project you've wanted to do for a while, even if it is a little bit against the rules.

David F. Chapman said...

Now I'm worried. The more I think about it, the more I've been making this crap up as I go along... I really don't know where it's going. Maybe that's why I want to write it - to see where the plot will take me?