Friday, November 01, 2013

November is National Novel Writing Month

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo 2013 which, for those who are not familiar, is National Novel Writing Month, a world-wide web phenomenon in which lots and lots of would-be authors around the globe will attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel during the Thirty Days of November.

I wrote my first one in 2008 though I'd wanted to do it for a while, but time was always a concern. After having been laid off, though, I had no excuse: what was time?

True, 50,000 words may not be that long, compared to some novels you've read - I would estimate it to be perhaps  115 pages or so - and, really, over a span of 30 days, that breaks down to an average of 1,667 words a day. My blog posts are longer than that but, true, I'm not blogging every day.

This first post is about 3,255 words long (which might be 7 pages of a printed book). Most of them will be shorter, as I have it planned.

An Ineluctable Modality will be my 6th NaNoWriMo novel.

It is designed to be in 30 chapters, one for each day of the month. So, for some reason, I thought why not raise the stakes a little by posting each chapter at the end of the day? This precludes a certain amount of editing in the final process, once the whole novel is done, but I'm hoping that I've outlined my ideas sufficiently before beginning it to keep any major surprises to a minimum. As one of my characters, a would-be author himself, says, "I know the bones but how I'll flesh them out - who knows?"

The title may sound familiar, from the opening line of the third chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses.

- - - - -
'Ineluctable modality of the visible, at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read... Limits of the diaphane. ...If you can put your five fingers through it, it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see... You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. ...Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes.'
- - - - -

But there are other references, semi-quotes and puns just as Joyce himself did: my opening line references the famous opening line of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (or Remembrance of Things Past as it was known in English when I first read it).Both Proust's Swann's Way (the first of the seven novels making up In Search of Lost Time) and Ulysses were published in 1913, so I'll consider this my Centennial Tribute.

Mostly I write "classical music appreciation thrillers" like The Schoenberg Code, The Doomsday Symphony , The Lost Chord and now The Labyrinth of Klavdia Klangfarben (you can read an excerpt here). But I've always wanted to do a more lyrical novel, something that is not so plot driven or, for that matter, so tightly organized, something that exhibits an entirely different sense of style.

So join me in this month-long adventure. I make no promises (especially since I doubt anyone will be reading these posts, anyway).

The first chapter begins here. Please be aware this is only a first draft and may change over time.

Thanks for getting this far,
Dick Strawser

* * ** *** ***** ******** ***** *** ** * *

And now, from the "Well, That Didn't Last Long" Division of the Best Laid Plans Department:

I rather quickly, given other commitments and a pesky thing called reality, fell behind schedule. And while I'm only a day behind in writing the chapter-posts to my novel (yet still staying ahead-of-schedule in the total-number-of-words-written-toward-the-goal department), I find I need more time to edit and polish the text before committing it to the world, even as a first draft, and that is time I'd rather spend writing. So, eventually I'll get back to posting - and when I do, they will be posted on the day they should have been posted because that's the way the novel was planned...

- Dick Strawser

1 comment:

  1. I'm doing TONS of writing. None of it happens to be in the form of fiction, at least not on purpose. I'm writing blog posts, class notes for writers workshops, and too many sympathy notes. Algonkian Writers Conference