Check in: Nanowrimo week 1

So I’m basically one week into the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). Lets see how I’ve done.

Words written: 17086
Hours Spent Writing: 19.5 (half of that during extended lunchbreaks at work)
Percentage complete: 34%

So those are the statistics. Basically I’ve been a fiend, as I set out to be. Neglecting any sense of quality control, turning off my internal editor, I basically open up notepad and type furiously for hours on end. What do I get – a cast of characters, a loose plot, and lots of ranting. I’m telling the story from the first person, so this lets me speak directly to the reader. I donâ��t have to spend time saying so-and-so is thinking this, I just say it. This lets me write a lot faster, and itâ��s sort of fun. I get to go inside the mind of the narrator, be this crazy guy who converges pretty closely with my own life in more than one aspect.

Cast of Characters:

Dave Sireal – Narrator. He’s an angry, witty, ranty twenty-something guy who works for a defense contractor (Bullman Haddison) in Atlanta.
Uriah Stevenson – “Big U” Kickass soldier who is working privately for BH, doing top secret operations in Iraq and other locales.
Beth Sheba Stevenson – Hot H&R girl for Bullman Haddison who happens to be married to Uriah.
Saul Bullman â�� Co-owner of Bullman Haddison and head of the R&D department. Dave’s boss and Jon’s uncle
Jon Bullman – Dave’s roomate, the eternal slacker, playing video games, drawing comics, stealing cars, but a good friend.

The basic premise of the novel follows Dave around on normal days as he does R&D for BH – this involves developing means to track terrorists in Iraq using RFID tags. While this is Saul’s brainchild, Dave does all the technical details. Uriah is an ex-marine working for BH, doing all the fieldwork. Dave and Uriah develop a sort of symbiosis – through communication technology – during the operations.

Dave narrates with a somewhat belligerent attitude, cocky and demeaning to those he dislikes or gets annoyed with. Another interesting thing about the story is the important role played by technology. Though set in contemporary times, this is almost a science fiction novel. Dave will go into the details of how a certain technology works, such as database querying, or internet protocols, using wacky analogies, and then how this knowledge is vital to solving the problems at hand.

All the main characters in the story draw inspiration from a Biblical allusion – in the book of 1st Samuel. Here we get the tales of King David of Isreal (Sireal is an anagram), Bathsheba, Jonathan and Saul. Most of the characters will follow the story arcs presented into the biblical tales. For instance – Dave finds Beth incredibly attractive, but he doesn’t realize Uriah is her husband till later on. Since Dave is Uriah’s operator, he holds power of life and death. Dave is confronted with the opportunity to use this to his advantage – and reap the rewards of Beth.

What spurned me to write this story was I was interested in practical means to stopping terrorism. I personally don’��t think traditional tactics have any leverage in a guerrilla war. I ask the question – what could technology do confront this dilemma?

Right now, the entire thing is in unedited text files, so I wont be posting anything. I think flying through and chugging out a first draft is the way to go. Ignore plot continuity, character stability, any sense of coherency – and just get fifty thousands words down solid. Then you actually worry about carving a decent novel out of it.

And the number one rule: have fun. I haven��t broken that one yet.

Show Comments