Blog for budding Sheikhspeares entering National Novel Writing Month 2006

November 29, 2006

do i get a prize for coming second?

I HAVE COMPLETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haven't had more than 4 hours sleep since Thursday, but I did it!

And, while bypassing one final loose end i wanted to tie up, I actually finished the story. Of course, will have to go back and do extensive rewrites, but who cares - for the next few hours, I will be smug.

November 28, 2006

I got my 50k! I got my 50k!

Woo-hoo! Tonight's total was 1524, bringing the Grand Nano Total to 50,071. Excerpt:

Mark tried not to show his disappointment at the translations, but his expression was noticeably crestfallen. "Oh, thanks."

"Were you hoping for something rather more intriguing?" Miller said kindly.

"Yes, somewhat. If it had meant something like the Masons, or Al Qaeda, it would have seemed a lot more definite," he said.

"The East is a region thick with rumours and conspiracies," Miller said. "It's best to take most things you hear with a pinch of salt. The locals spend a lot of time chattering in the coffeehouses and the majilises. For them it's a kind of pastime, a sport. Certainly nothing to give much serious attention to."

But the story is so far from finished it is depressing and terrifying. I estimate at least another ten thousand words are needed. That's quite apart from all the structural and stylistic rewrite, plus trying to put in clues and things that I haven't even worked out yet.

November 27, 2006

The eleventh hour

I thought about trying to make the 50k tonight, but I haven't, and I'm kind of glad I didn't. Although my novel is going to need a lot more than 50k to wrap everything up and flesh out the sub plot/red herrings, I want to reach the 50k by writing at least the first draft of the final scene. That is what I plan to do tomorrow night. I still really have no clue how it is going to unfold, and I still have a mad visions of the archvillain escaping by helicopter and the hero grabbing the controls (which is definitely not going to be happening!) but that is perhaps the magic of nano. I hope and pray that the final scene will somehow write itself.

Tonight's writing has been snippets here and there. Part of a scene with the murder victim's flatmate, a rather surly model. A bit more of the camel-back rescue with things starting to get steamy between the heroine and the romantic hero. A bit of early scene setting getting the code name of the arch villain in. And a scene where one of the protagonists confronts one of the villains not knowing his own wife is in flagrante under the villain's desk at the time. 2010 words tonight, the total is now 48547. Excerpt:

Hamid had taken over the running of Al Sweihan Trading when his father died. He had recently expanded beyond wooden dhows into container shipping. The containers were modified to carry hundreds of kilos of heroin within their sides, and had so far been undetected by customs officials. It was a profitable activity, but not one that could last forever. And now American patrol boats were increasingly obstructing his armaments shipments, the Indians were cracking down on gold smuggling, and Hamid had recently remarried.

So this latest business proposition, which promised to be highly lucrative, could not have come at a better time. Neither the motivations of the people behind the deal nor their intentions were of concern to Hamid. Being able to carry out the task they offered was enough. Hamid was meeting that day with the man known only as Al Aqoul, a man who spoke over a dozen languages and had connections in nearly every country in the region. But Al Aqoul's trade was something very different to the solid cargoes of drugs and metal that Hamid ferried about.

"What we do is perhaps best described as enabling fortunate circumstances," Hamid was told. "Our local partners are critical to such ventures. Should you accept this commission, we anticipate that the risk will be moderate but the rewards substantial. We are not an organisation that deals in failure."

Award antics

Only 1,200 words today: jetlag and general knackeredness catching up. Total word cound 45,680 so have cleared the 45k word hurdle. An extract from awards ceremony scene with proxy-friendly *:

As he was scanning the room, he saw a woman in the corner, dancing on the table. By the way she was tossing her hair, he recognised Katie. Shrugging Rosalind off his knee, he headed over to check if Katie was all right – by the looks of things, she had had a skin full to drink, and could do herself some serious damage in those shoes. A crowd was forming around her, as she swung around like a dervish, and even throwing in some erotic moves that would have looked more at home on the dancefloor of a strip club. He reached the table, elbowing away a few drooling men, and tugged on her sleeve. “Get down, you’ll fall and make a fool of yourself.”

She struggled to shrug him off and, almost in slow motion, she lost her footing. Falling remarkably gracefully for someone that should, by rights, have been in an alcoholic stupor by now, she grabbed on to Robbie on the way down. When he failed to hold her steady and started to fall himself, she grabbed the tablecloth. As she fell to the ground, the tablecloth, table, glasses and cutlery all came flying down with a crash, with Robbie falling on top of the pile.

From underneath him, he heard Katie start to laugh slowly, then absolutely hysterically, which led to an inevitable case of the hiccups. He staggered to his feet and started untangling the mess that lay before him. Underneath the debris, Katie lay, flat on her back, miraculously outfit still in one place. “You okay?” he asked. “Yes, though I was just building up to a climax in my routine,” she giggled. Having established that Katie and her clothes were all in one piece, Robbie laid into her. “What has got into you?”

“Sadly, nobody recently. What God hath made, all men are casting asunder,” she mumbled, starting to sulk. “I was just having a laugh.” Before Robbie could lecture her any more, Heath emerged from his vantage point behind a pillar. “I thought she was sensational – whoever knew that woman could shake her ass like that.” He pulled Katie off the floor and into a long snog.

“Terrific, just what she needs, Heath. The poor girl is tired, emotional and p*ssed, and now Baqaa’s biggest male slapper fancies having a crack. For once, can you manage not to take advantage of a girl that won’t be able to stand soon? That’s my best friend, and she’s worth more than you.” “I’m right here, you know,” piped up Katie, losing some of her bravado. “And I can speak for myself. Well, for the next half an hour at least. While I may be drunk, I still have phenomenally good taste in men. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take Heath home and scr*w his brains out. That’s if he’ll have me.”

With that, she tugged Heath by the hand and walked out. Robbie, for once, was speechless, before bursting into laughter. What a woman ….

November 26, 2006

The very final stretches

Tonight 2060 (didn't do any last night, getting slack, but am nearly there thank god) and total 46537.


"Doctor Abnis, I presume?"

Yep - that's it. Any more and it will give the game away!

(It's also about the only coherent thing I wrote out of two thousand words).