National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month: Day 29

Hmm. I have just one day left in National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month and I’m still 7219 words short of the 50,000-word target.

I’m not terribly concerned. When things are clicking I can write about 10,000 words in a single day; I think my record is something like 14,000. But it’s just so hard to write a National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month novel. Yes, there’s the writing, but blogging about what I’m writing is just as important.

I’m also contributing to six different National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month podcasts; I’m moderating a National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month message board; participating in eleven others (mostly acting as cop, preventing idiots from hijacking threads and turning these wonderful resources into colossal wastes of our time); organizing a weekly National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month regional meetup; designing and uploading new merchandise for my National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month CafePress store; Twittering about my National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month novel; seeking out and responding to other National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month novelists’ National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month-related Tweets — we’re a community; we have to support each other…the workload is endless.

I just don’t want the quality of my National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month novel to suffer, that’s all. Before you can say it: yes, I know that anything less than 50,000 words means that my NaTeUnNoWriMo novel will suck. But it’s not all about output.

As of right now, my National Terrible Unfinished Novel-Writing Month novel contains: pirates, robots, timelords, cops, robbers, lumberjacks, greengrocers, lusty chambermaids, lusty bootblacks, lusty pet-store managers, aerialists; dead gods and Supreme Beings; characters from parallel dimensions; forest fires and earthquakes; and lemme check my notes but I’m pretty sure that I managed to bung in a few paragraphs that turn the whole thing into a biting appraisal the caustic racism that undermines our Society.

But there are no bear attacks, no dramatic “final desperate half-court shot right at the final buzzer” sports stories, and there’s this total bastard I used to work with over at the Carpet Depot whom I really need to stick it to in the form of a thinly-veiled character.

It’s true that great Art is never finished, only abandoned. The question is how good I can make the thing before I abandon it. What I’m aiming for is something that has enough charm and structural integrity that homeless people will tear off the plywood covering the basement door and move right in. If it’s like a 1983 Plymouth Gran Fury where someone removes the plates and walks away and then the neighborhood kids set fire to it three days later, then I have to feel as though I’ve somehow failed as a novelist.