Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo (With Space-Nazi-Zombies)

So I've been seriously considering doing this NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) thing. Basically you have to write 50,000 words of fiction. The emphasis is not on good writing or anything crazy like that, it's just on cranking out a novel. You start on November 1 and must finish by November 30. For those who aren't quick with the calculator that's just under 1700 words per day. The idea is that you stop giving a crap about good writing and just give a crap about writing. It is against the spirit of the contest to write ahead of time, but they do encourage outlines and plot notes. So in that vein I've had a few ideas.

I think that any good novel should include the following.


Because Hitler is funnier as a cartoon.

Every good novel needs a bad guy. Besides, who doesn't love crapping on Nazi's?


An Example of an Author Who Knows What's What
You've gotta include the Zombies just for that WOW factor. You know like "WOW! The author was really reaching on that one!" That goes double if you can make it a Zombie Redemption Tale...

HA! Just kidding, we all know that the only way to redeem a zombie is to shoot 'em in the head.


Hmmm... I don't see any eyeliner on this guy.

Not fruity Jack Sparrow type of pirates. The kind of pirates that would sooner cut out your tongue than look at you. (Somalian pirates must pass an AK-47 maintenance and marksmanship test before being allowed to apply.)


I'd like to see Scooby Doo unmask this guy.
Obviously the bad guy is the sum of his parts. So one zombie-nazi is worth one zombie and one nazi. Giving you two for the price of one. There are modifiers that can be considered multipliers, though.


Space-Nazi-Zombies?!?!?! Our hero doesn't stand a chance.
Adding the prefix space- to your bad guys makes them twice as effective. (Same goes for good guys.) So that means that one Space-Nazi-Zombie is worth 2 Zombies and 2 Nazis. Making one Space-Nazi-Zombie worth four bad guys total. Now there's some bad guy density for you. It also instantly increases your credibility as a writer, to be able to come up with creative combinations such as these.

Alliterative Names

Now that's some alliteration I can get behind!!!
Let's face it. People who read books are dumb. The only way that they'll remember your character's names is if you make them alliterative. Like Dak Daksterston, Dudley Dooright, or Frankie Feelgood. All of these are excellent protagonist names. 

Antagonists and Higher Education

This guy looks perfectly trustworthy... Until I tell you he's a doctor!
Professor Moriarty, Dr. Kevorkian, Dr. Evil. What do they have in common? That's right, higher education. Again, I really need to stress the fact that people who read are stupid. They like to see the smart people fail, so if your bad guy has a doctorate in astrophysics, you're doing it right. (As an aside it helps to have a protagonist who's as dumb as possible. Maybe have him be a high-school dropout, who smokes crack. If he smokes crack though, it's got to be in a lovable way.)

The Flawed Protagonist

We all know that Han shot first. He's a killa.
People are not perfect. To identify with your protagonist it's important to have them be flawed. It's a good idea for your hero to maybe have a chemical dependency, because we all know that 87% of Americans are in fact addicted to meth amphetamine. If your character is popping oxycontin every 3 paragraphs, you know you've got a winner. (Protip: Avoid Cocaine, it was really only popular in the 80's and it's pretty expensive. Most of your readers are poor, so talking about Cocaine will only confuse them. The only exception to that rule is if your Hero is fighting Nazi Columbian Drug Cartels. In that case, Cocaine addiction provides a depth and richness to your hero. But seriously, he can quit any time.)

The Wasteland

The Queen of England called him 'lugubrious.' I call him pansy.
Everyone knows that mankind is doomed to kill themselves. Probably in 2012. Including the wasteland makes people feel better about their crappy lives. You'll forget about the leak in the roof of your trailer if you're reading about the nuclear holocaust.

Easy to Read Dialogue

These movies are well known for their excellent dialogue.
First off, dialogue is over-rated. As Junkie XL so eloquently put it, "a little less conversation, a little more action." People hate reading whiny conversations between people, who just beat around the bush. Get right to it. You could spend 60 pages of a character hemming and hawing about telling someone they have AIDS. No-one wants to read that. Just say it: "Jack Jargon has AIDS." There. I just saved you and your reader a hell of a lot of time. (Protip: Replace all that lame dialogue with word explosions. Kerpleweas;ldkfjasl;kdjf;alskdjfhgobcxvn.zx,mcviluqwehytiopuhasdkl;fghasiludhf;aklsdnlhjdfg;izxhc,hoaksdgh. I understand if you can't continue reading, because I just rocked your eyes right out of their sockets.)

Manly Heroes

Pretty sure his manliness level is OVER 9000!!!!!!!
Nobody wants to read about some prissy man-boy. (The Little Prince is the exception to this rule, as he owned his own planet.) This is exactly the problem that many writers run into, they try to make a woman their protagonist thinking that all the sexy will even out the lack of manly. WRONG! This almost never works. Manliness should ooze from the pages. Take a cue from Hemingway, devote lengthy portions of your work to killing and/or maiming animals.

Treat Women as Objects

Yeah. He knows what he's doing.
This one's pretty self-explanatory. No one will respect you as a writer unless all the women in your novel are objectified into oblivion.

Write While Loaded

I love scotch! Scotchy, scotchy scotch scotch!
This one's a pretty self-explanatory one too. Don't even think about picking up the pen until you can't see straight. C'mon, don't be a wuss, all the cool authors are doing it. You could be in the company of such greats as: Ernst Hemingway, John Berryman and Richard Brautigan.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, if anyone decides to go on ahead and go through with this Novel writing thing, they'll heed my advice. Including my suggestions will make your novel shine with awesomeness.

A gift, from me to you.

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