50,000 words in 30 days

Cheap mock-up of book cover*

Starting in less than 2 hours National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) begins. And I’m participating. Which means I’m attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

GULP

I decided to do this a day or two ago. I have no outline. I have a very busy month ahead writing for Robot 6 (check out my latest column about the newest Facebook craze, Bitstrips), bringing The Corey Blake Experience back to Neon Venus (it’s your second chance to catch me performing with both of my current improv groups – don’t miss it or it could be your last chance), performing at The Improv Space (every Thursday night at 8 PM!), working at my new job, and whatever else I do (I can’t even keep it straight). This could very well be a complete and utter disaster. Needless to say, I’m not really expecting to hit the 50K goal. I keep telling myself that whatever I write is more than what I had before. Even if it’s all garbage, at least I got things moving and tried a new way to create.

My book was an idea I’ve had burbling around in my head for years, maybe a decade or more. At various times, I’ve considered it a web series, a comic book, a web-comic, and a graphic novel. Technically writing a script is considered breaking the loose rules of NaNoWriMo, but they don’t really hold anyone to it. You’re categorized a “rebel” and you can pretty much do what you want with the month. But a 50,000-word graphic novel is massive. So maybe I’ll start it as a straight prose book. Maybe I’ll borrow from cartoonist Terry Moore and mix comics and prose. The whole thing is an experiment for me, so I’ll borrow from my weekly improvisation shows and just see where it takes me. NaNoWriMo released a pep talk from James Patterson today and he briefly referenced Art Spiegelman, the guy who created the Pulitzer-winning graphic novel Maus. That made me feel good about not backing down from doing it as a comic. It’s the language and format that I’ve spent more time consuming and studying. So we’ll see.

The story itself. I wrestled with which idea to pursue but I knew pretty quickly it would be this one. I have a comedy web-comic that I’ve been writing, and I definitely want to look into writing more comedy again. But this is not a comedy. As I’ve conceived it, it’ll probably be kind of depressing actually. Again, we’ll see where it takes me. I’m sure there will be moments of levity, but it’s meant to address through metaphor a lot of my feelings and emotional responses to Nahleen’s diagnoses first with multiple sclerosis and then with lupus. It may very well end up being a very clumsy and sophomoric expression, but I think I’m long overdue to finally write this.

Some will start writing at midnight. I’m about to head to bed for work tomorrow. And then tomorrow night, I’m going to dive in. Please have patience with me as I may be more tired than normal over the next 30 days. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this month, be one of my writing buddies! Or just wish me luck! I’ll probably need it.

*Credit Where Credit Is Due Department: The temporary cover above is cropped from this free wallpaper image.

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