Pardon what did you say? It’s flippin’ November? How did that happen? When we first had this bright idea – joining the thousands of other writers around the world in writing a book in one month - it was ages away. A distant star shining far off in the ether. It looked beautiful and twinkly and mysterious. Now though we’re haring towards a gigantic superheated ball of nuclear reactions averaging a surface temperature of five and a half thousand degrees Celsius, and I for one, am beginning to get a bit of a sweat on. What I’m hoping is – the inclusive, communal, collective nature of the whole thing will help chivvy us along and give us the good vibes we need to keep plodding onwards with our precious load. (I think I just quoted ‘Little Donkey’? but anyway…) So here’s the thing… If you too are planning to join this escapade, and enjoy the podcast, we’d love you to come and unite in solidarity with us and the rest of our small and exclusive gang of writers (NaNoWriMo only allow a group of up to 20 people, presumably because a group of writers bigger than that could easily become a public nuisance)
If you want to join our NaNoWriMo group, please mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org let us know what your username is, and we’ll invite you in!
Right… let’s find out if the The Failing Writers are up for this lark…
So, Lads, you have a clear plan for NaNoWriMo all mapped out, right?
TOM: Yeah, pretty much. And the more I seem to plan it, the happier I am with the outline (which has surprised me!) It almost looks like a decent story.
JON: Er. Sort of. I’ve got the first half mapped out. Haven’t quite finished the plotting yet…
DAVE: Almost there. Just missing an ending. Which is where you find out who the murderer is. Which is quite important. So no…not really.
Do you have a daily writing routine planned? What about a daily word-target?
TOM: No daily routine planned. But I'm aware I'm going to have to devote a couple of hours a day, at least, to writing. I'm pretty quick at getting the words churned out once I'm sat down writing, so I think I'll be fine. Especially with a planed outline behind me! I'm aiming for between 2500-3000 words a day, four or five days a week (I think/hope the maths works on that?!)
JON: Very much not. I’m recording a VERY long audio book simultaneously, so any scraps of time I get to write will be a bonus. I’d be amazed if I got through more than 2000 a week to be honest.
DAVE: I wouldn’t say I have a routine planned, but I have an aim. The aim is to write every day. Then again, that’s been my aim for the last 30 years and I haven’t managed it so far.
Expecting to get the book finished in November?
TOM: Expecting would be strong word to use! But I'm hopeful. I've never gone into writing anything of this length with a proper plan. I've always pantsed. And that's where I always come unstuck. So, I'm really, really, really hoping that the planning stuff we've learned in the podcast is going to really help.
JON: Are you not listening? Categorically no. But I’m hoping to have at least a 5th done and the plotting quite tight for the rest.
DAVE: A cat would have a better chance in the realm of Beelzebub, but I figure just get my head down and do as much as I can. Who knows, might surprise myself…
Have you written a log line for the book? If so, what is it?
TOM: Ouh, no. I haven't... I should though. Erm... it would be something like: Stuck in a superficial life he hates and on the brink of a massive fraud conviction, Charles Peterson decides the only way to escape is to fake his own death, but he doesn't know the people helping him do it actually plan to kill him.
JON: Whoops. Not yet. Probably should though eh? .. hang on… A left leaning detective investigates a horrific murder at an exclusive private school. As he closes in on the killer, he uncovers a secret plot with far reaching consequences for society and the safety of his partner. But can he unravel it in time to save his partner, or will his political ideology cloud his judgement? Something like that?... Bit long… I’ll work on it…
DAVE: I’ve been trying, but not quite getting there. Something like: A disillusioned cop, who secretly dreams of being a comedian, is drawn into the seedy world of stand-up when a string of comics end up dead. With the country’s most prestigious comedy competition looming, can she solve the mystery in time or will she end up on the wrong end of a deadly punchline…(There’s one for OMJ Ryan!!)
How are you feeling going into it?
TOM: I'm feeling a bit nervous actually. I'm aware it's going to be very easy to slip behind on the word count and I think I'll find that quite de-motivating if I do. So, my plan is to try and stay ahead from day one.
JON: Honestly? A little overwhelmed. Although, it helps to have low expectations. Keeps the stress at bay. Would feel better if NaNoWriMo was a different month. And if my eldest child wasn’t doing his mock exams. And work wasn’t so busy. And the podcast. And all the other excuses.
DAVE: Doing my best not to think about it. Because if I do I start to panic. Oh my God! Panic! PANIC!!!
Do you think hearing from / chatting with other writers during the process will help or hinder you?
TOM: I have no idea actually. Good question!
JON: I probably won’t have loads of time to chat. But nice to sometimes hear how others are getting on.
DAVE: I dunno. Depends who they are. If it’s Jon or Tom it’ll probably just be distracting, but if it’s somebody good it might actually help
Out of the 3 of you, whose book is most likely to be published first? Really!!?? Why d’ya say that?
TOM: Erm... that's a tough one. I don't want to say mine, because that's obviously what Jon and Dave will answer. But on second thoughts, I'm going to say mine. Why do I say that? Oh, just a healthy mix of misplaced confidence and unwarranted bravado.
JON: Bairdy. I think he’s probably the most driven among us. And I suspect he’ll actually finish his book, if not in November, then shortly after. Tom will be hot on his heels I reckon. Me…. I’ll still be agonising about the third paragraph of chapter 4.
DAVE: I think they’ll all be published together in a mystery anthology ready for Christmas 2022. It’ll probably be called “3 of the worst books ever (half) written”
TOM: No regrets at all! (Oh, other than that time that I suggested that we should do Nanorimorimoimomo for the podcast. I regret that a little bit)
DAVE: About 42 years’ worth, but strangely none about this.
Ok … Ready?
TOM: Nope. Stop the bus, I feel a bit sick.
JON: I refer you to question 1.
DAVE: Let’s do it! I’ll just put the kettle on first…
Then let’s go!
(Find out more about it all here https://nanowrimo.org/ )