What happens when a scientist tries to write a novel?

NaNoWriMo Participant's Logo…well, we shall find out over the course of the next month or so!

In November of every year an American charitable organisation called the Office of Letters and Light runs an event called National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). This event essentially consists of a dedicated month of creative writing and is billed as “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon”. The goal of this month of crazy, unedited and unadulterated soul-spilling is to produce a 50,000 word first draft manuscript in thirty days or less. It’s a bit like the Ten Tors Challenge in that the only competitive element is with yourself, and everyone else involved supports you along the way; and at a target of only 1,667 words per day it’s eminently achievable.

I’ve been meaning to give this event a go for a couple of years now (I discovered it for the first time in about 2009) but for a variety of reasons including university commitments and cowardice I never bit the bullet and committed to actually trying to write a novel… until now! I’m not sure how successful this whole enterprise will be, trying to write in flowery, not-necessarily-consise language after four years of training to remove those very tendencies, but there’s no harm in trying and I might even enjoy myself.

Cover Art for Courtney's Chronicle: A Shadow over London

The cover art for my NaNoWriMo novel; Courtney’s Chronicle: A Shadow over London. Copyright (c) 2012 Benjamin D Brooks

As for what I’m going to try and write, it’s a science-fantasy genre novel taking place in an anachronistic Britain where the Internal Combustion Engine hasn’t gained traction (I make no apologies for the terrible pun). This means there’s going to be lots of Airship/Zeppelin action, giant steamships, railways and a lot of steam-punked technology! The main protagonist is an economic geology professor at the Royal School of Mines in London and he’s about to get dragged into dark circles and events that he’s totally unprepared for…

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I’d be really interested in finding out how you’re getting on with planning for the month ahead, and if you’re not but are interested in what I’m doing, you can find out more at my profile on the NaNoWriMo site.

Anywho, with any luck episode 2 of my YouTube vlog will be up tomorrow night; but for now, Allons-y.

Ben D. Brooks


4 thoughts on “What happens when a scientist tries to write a novel?

  1. Pingback: NaNoWriMo, Call of Cthulhu and Character Creation | BenjaminDBrooks' Blog

  2. Pingback: We’ve completed another Orbit! | BenjaminDBrooks' Blog

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