Welcome to NaNoWriMo

Me: Um, hi. My name is Tony, and I'm a NaNoWriMo author.

Crowd [in ragged unison]: Hi, Tony.

Me: I've been writing for one day.

Crowd: [scattered applause]

Me: My, uh, my NaNoWriMo novel is titled "The Adventures of the Grammarian: Verbosity's Vengeance".

Crowd: [mixture of confused mutterings, several excited squeaks and a few moans of disappointed frustration]

Me: I was gonna do a different novel, but this one was just calling to me. It's based on a story I wrote that some people thought was pretty funny. So I thought I'd, y'know, stretch it out. To a novel. That's like, fifty times longer. [pauses] Oh Jesus, what am I doing? This is lunacy!

Crowd: [murmurs of agreement]

Me [sipping coffee and taking a deep breath]: Well, one way or another, I'll give it a shot. I wrote a synopsis:
Though fervently committed to the Cause of Clarity, the Grammarian isn't exactly on the A-list of superheroes. It irritates the heck out him that other heroes not only get all the glory, they also get a lot more dates. Sure, they can fly or throw freight trains around like matchsticks, but can they tangle up a criminal in his own mismatched verb tenses? However, his resolve is put to the ultimate test when a powerful new super-villain rises to threaten Lexicon City. Despite their superpowers, none of the city's heroes is able to stand against him. The only hope rests with the man who wrote (and edited) the book on heroics: the Grammarian!
This isn't just going to be puns, wordplay and clever turns of phrase. It's got a character development arc, a confused but cute love interest, an ego competition angle, and a bunch of super-villains. It's also got an important underlying message that's topical and socially redeeming, and I think it would go over big with middle grade or young adult audiences.

Crowd: [mostly skeptical noises, with a few shouted words of encouragement, a few laughs of derision. One cry of "Hubris!"]

Me: Well, besides, I figure that if I can't pound out fifty thousand words with what I've got going on this story, then I should re-think this whole novel business.

Crowd: [silence]

Me: So, anyway. That's me.

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  1. Very brave, very brave. You even have an audience already!

  2. The perfect end to a rather crap day for me. Good to end with a smile on my dial and your always good for a laugh Tony.

    Good luck with it all... given I fell for your April Fools prank I'm not even going to mention if this is what you're really writing... oops I just did.

    Go you good thing!

  3. Oh and as an aside -you get the best silly words to plug into your system to allow comments to get through.

    I just got 'wisesses' which sounds like a bunk of wheezing, whinging women trying to say wise asses... you think Wordpress was having a poke at you?

  4. So, you did decide to go with that one. It's certainly going to be enlightening on the proper use of grammar. You have a thumbs up for the idea. Now, I'm writing about super heroes, too, but they will be more dark and dangerous.

  5. Sounds like you've got your elevator pitch for publishers all ready to go!

    I've started a club on my website so you can receive daily emails with inspirational quotes about writing to keep you motivated. More info here if you're interested: http://blog.quotabl.es/post/1453304685/join-the-quotables-nanowrimo-club

    Best of luck!


  6. Thanks for your comments, guys. This is me throwing my hat over the wall for NaNoWriMo 2010. Now that it's underway, the time for plot waffling is past.

    And if, as Nicola suggests, this will serve as a good elevator pitch, then writing the book should be the easy part, right?

  7. Hooray! My mind is humming over the "confused but cute love interest." Hmm. It's not Word Girl, is it?

  8. Count me in! I'm sold and you haven't even written it yet! :) I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  9. I sent your Grammarian flash to my novel critique group leader, and he loved it. He'll be excited to hear you're turning it into a novel. Good luck!


  10. Good luck with NaNo! It ought to be quite some novel! ;)

  11. Good luck with NaNo, Tony. Is this your first time trying it? I love the idea. I thought your Grammarian story was hilarious.

  12. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    No, Johanna, it's not Word Girl. It's Parenthesis Woman. Truly.

    Thanks, Cecilia! I will need a beta reader for this thing at some point, so tell your crit leader to get ready.

    Joanie & Laura, believe it or not, there's an internal logic to it that is reasonable and compelling. Crazy, huh?

    Danni, I completed NaNo in 2006 and 2009, started but did not finish in 2007 & 2008. I'm doing things a little differently this year, hoping for a better process and outcome.


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