So I am planning to do NaNoWriMo again this year and instead of just trying to get 50,000 words down in 30 days I hope to get a completed story out of it as well. I will have to plot this out (blech!) and see where the target word count lands (initial projections have it at 60k or 2,000 words per day). I seriously have to get limbered up. Seeing as I haven’t blogged since the summer I plan on getting back to my once a week post schedule. Also, I’m going to polish two chapters of my 2012 NaNo book (which is in editing mode still) and get them off to an editor in the next couple weeks, as well as get through the rest of that book looking for plot holes (chasms in some cases) and major crapola.
For this year’s NaNo story I’m going a different direction and it’s going to be quite a challenge. My biggest concern is how I am going to generate enough conflict to make it interesting. The good news is, my MC is a total dick so putting him through the wringer and seeing if he comes out the other end better off for it should be quite doable.
My MC doesn’t exist. He is no one person. He’s the embodiment of several people that I’ve interacted with over the past twenty years who have left a sour impression for one reason or another, and the MC is going to get his comeuppance for each and every one of those transgressions to which I’ve born witness.
This is why you should avoid pissing off writers.
We will come up with some of the wildest and most insane punishments you can imagine. Oh sure, we’ll put that fancy disclaimer at the beginning of the book: “This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental” but once you start reading the book you’ll recognize the crap you pulled and know instantly that when the character was getting his face eaten from the inside out by a colony of fire ants that the author was thinking of you.
So, if you’re a gigantic asshole, writers everywhere thank you. Conflict is what makes a novel go ’round and without your “contributions” to society the well we dip into for this stuff would be a lot shallower.
You might be saying, “This may be all well and good for fiction, but what about the real world? You can’t just go all Spy vs. Spy on every single person that grates your cheese”, and you’d be right. The concept of us versus them is not a new one. Since the dawn of time conflict has been a part of the human race. Let’s define things as follows: “us” and “we” can be just one person, a group, collection of like-minded folks, organization, community, tribe, race, or nation. If you fit this definition I want you to listen and listen carefully:
There will always those with whom we don’t get along. If they offend our sensibilities, wrong us in some way, marginalize us, oppress us, or harm us, I humbly request that we don’t ever sink to their level. Even if we have all the education, skills, money, power, and support in the world behind us, especially if we have all those things, don’t do it. Don’t sink. If we can’t find another way, a better way than them, then it’s up to us to seek out help in finding one. If we won’t find another way, a better way; if we outright refuse to do this one thing that makes us different than them, then we have become them and we should be ashamed. Find better ways.