Next month will be my second foray into the world of NaNoWriMo.
What? You’ve never heard of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo hosts, pushes, beats, cheers, and helps tens of thousands write 50,000 words every November.
NaNoWriMo is on the honor system. The prizes are children’s stickers awarded weekly. My only competition is George Cramer.
One must write 1,666 words every day for thirty days. Last year I wrote 70,000 words, or 2,333 a day. The purpose of the event is to write a novel. No editing, no critiquing, just writing. All the other stuff one can do later.
In 2012, I decided to write for NaNoWriMo. Writers should “write what you know.” I take that to heart.
For NaNoWriMo, I fudged. I wrote about events from my sixteen years at the San Leandro Police Department. Those years at SLPD were some of the best of my life. I began a list of incidents, most at SLPD. There are a few involving Oakland PD, Alameda PD, Alameda County Sheriff, Hayward PD, and even one in San Francisco where I traded guns for heroin. (Shades of Fast and Furious – We didn’t let the guns walk.) Some are funny, some sad, some bad. Yes, bad things do occasionally happen in a police department. I created an outline of those I want on paper. Before I knew it, the list had grown to sixty-five, each a story worth telling.
I suffer from CRS. I knew the longer I waited, the less accurate these stories would be. I dug in on November 1, 2012 and started down the list. I didn’t get through all sixty-five, but I did get around forty written. Before you begin to worry, except for a few of my exploits, not all, and some outstanding and courageous officers, I changed the names.
The first novel, A Tale of Robbers and Cops, is at a publisher now. I expect the rejection notice any day. The second, Liberty, is about 50% complete.
As part of NaNoWriMo, I will start a new novel. I’m looking for ideas. Think of an incident, real or imagined and shoot me a note. If I use your suggestion, I’ll name a character after you.