As some of you are aware, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) authors from all over the world take this personal challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you never forget your first (second or third) NaNo experience. What do you get for winning? The satisfaction of a job well done and bragging rights.
I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2007 — and won. Since then, I’ve participated and won every month, generally finishing early. (This year I was done by November 17)
My first year, I did a prequel to Lone Wolf – my sci-fi novel/ series. It’s called The Wall of Time and it discusses the backgrounds of several characters, expanding upon their experiences. I’m very proud of this book. When the rest of the series has been published, I’ll add it.
There are any number of challenges that NaNo participants can add to their work. One of these is the Cliff Brooks challenge. You name a character Cliff Brooks and kill him off. You can also give random words or phrases to your group members and challenge them to add them to their stories. For fun, I decided to post this excerpt. It contains several of the challenges given that year.
Wil smiled. Not everyone would consider it to be one. It was the kind of smile that made honest men wonder what they’d done to deserve God’s wrath and guilty men remember how they’d earned it. It was the expression on his face when he was anticipating something incredibly exciting, or terribly unpleasant. In this case, it was probably both. Whistling tunelessly, he requested permission to land.
He hit the atmosphere of Aolani and landed at the spaceport. With his ship secured, he walked to the Whips and Chains Bagnio. It was the worst establishment on the planet. Their whores were dirty, drug addicted and disease ridden. Only the really sick or twisted would work there. Eboneé had enjoyed her position for five years, longer than anyone else.
Making his way through the crowded streets outside the bordellos, drug emporiums and bars, he saw a clutch of people outside the ‘Dirty Seadog Pub and Massage Parlor.’ He couldn’t be sure, but it looked like a bunch of dwarfs dressed as clowns. They were singing an old rock ‘n roll song slightly off key and rubbing peanut butter on a group of unhappy aliens who looked rather like giant slugs. As he passed them, he noticed the distinctive, fruity odor of cheap, diet Cheerwine. No wonder they were so boisterous. Diet Cheerwine was the poor man’s all purpose mind altering drug.
A scrawny man in a dirty black leather thong and studded dog collar answered the door. He had a name tattooed on is skinny chest: Cliff Brooks. Cliff escorted Wil into the lobby and told Eboneé she was wanted below. The whore took her time, making sure she was perfectly attired for her new playmate.
When she arrived at the head of the stairs, she had on a skimpy black leather outfit that barely covered her breasts and crotch and didn’t cover anything else. Her thigh high black boots had metal heels and she wore gloves with metal spikes. Chains adorned every available surface and a nasty looking black snake whip hung at her hip. She was the epitome of the S&M Dominatrix.
Wil had to do his best to hide his snarl with a smile. She was so overdone, so full of herself, it was almost painful. Eboneé might think she was tough, but she had just met her match. Wil had dressed just as carefully for his visit. Wearing an ill fitting, wrinkled gray suit, dingy white shirt and a bland tie, he stumbled clumsily up the stairs. Not even the clothing could disguise the magnificent physique under them. Eboneé liked her job, she liked men, especially good looking, strong men. This one was going to be a treat. She led him to her room, decorated with a wide variety of sex toys from all over the galaxy. Humans were not the only ones who liked it rough.
Wil smiled as he walked through the door. This expression wasn’t frightening. He did his best to convey a man who was excited as hell to be in her presence.
* * *
(I skipped some because it was a long excerpt)
Yelling obscenities and banging on doors as he clumped down the hall, Mozzimo disturbed the entire establishment. Cliff came up behind him to find out what the trouble was. Without thinking, Mozzimo spun around and shot him right between the ‘f’ and the ‘B’. Cliff scrabbled at his chest, coughed once and died.