National Novel Writing Month 2009: A Timeline

I thought it was over forever last year. But then in October this happened:

Start receiving “reminder” emails from the NaNoWriMo website. Roll my eyes.

October 24th
Read over “novel” from last year while procrastinating writing a paper. Feel bad about the lack of coherency.

October 26th
Decide to do National Novel Writing Month again, this time attempting not to fall back on random free association to meet word limit. I CAN write a 50,000 word novel that sticks to one plot. For varying definitions of “one plot”. And “sticks”. And “novel”.

October 30th
Convince James Fox to write one too in exchange for making him a character in my novel.

November 1st–10pm
Suddenly remember that it’s the first day of National Novel Writing Month. Stay up to begin novel. Decide it should be about Middle School Patricia traveling to the future by accident to meet me now. It can be deep and full of meaning and reveal things about my life and stuff.

November 2nd
Decide to occasionally write from Middle School Patricia’s Point of View to use up more words.
What. The. Crap. This is the WORST day of my ENTIRE LIFE. First of all, we totally had a quiz in French I didn’t know about and French is like the easiest subject but I didn’t know any of the vocabulary and I know I got a C. I bet I got the worst grade in the class and everyone will make fun of me, even Kurt, because French is so easy and I could’ve passed if I’d remembered about it and studied instead of playing Monopoly with Thomas. I don’t even LIKE Monopoly and he always cries when he doesn’t win. THEN I ended up HERE somehow where it’s way too cold and everyone is super mean, especially this one lady who says she is me. I guess she looks like me so it must be true. But HOW can that be me??? She is WAY too old and weird. And a LIBRARIAN? How boring is that? I want to be a writer. I KNOW I can be a good writer, so she should be able to be a good writer too, right? I don’t know what happened. Maybe my mission is to try to convince her to change the boring awfulness of her life and become a writer like she’s supposed to. It will suck for awhile, she will have to get a less nice apartment and quit her job and never have enough to eat and maybe get some kind of disease like consumption. Also, she will have to break up with this fiancé Steven person. It doesn’t matter what he’s like, to be a writer you have to be lonely and miserable at first. THEN you become rich and famous and can have a nice house by the beach and travel to Europe anytime you want and go to book signings and live in a castle and find your ONE TRUE LOVE. So maybe if he is really her ONE TRUE LOVE he can come back then. I’m not sure if he is yet, I will have to look at him to know.
Okay, this sounds like a good plan. I will convince her that she needs to quit her life and become a writer. For my sake. And FOR ALL OUR SAKES. How can the world survive without the amazing things that we will write? I have already written lots of amazing things that could be published and make us famous and I am only thirteen. Clearly she would not have to try very hard to do the same thing. She’s old.

November 3rd
Decide to add another time traveling Patricia–“Old Patricia”–from the future to spice things up. She is apparently some kind of plaid obsessed alcoholic.

November 6th
Aliens attack. Specifically, Plutonians. Who look like giant dust mites, because those things are freaking scary. Also, they apparently control the Space Time Continuum? And are trying to kill all of me for some reason?

November 7th
James Fox introduced as character since the pipe he monitors apparently contains, among other things, The Space Time Continuum.
“I was watching the pipe,” he said. “When I noticed a disturbance in the space time continuum.”
“The space time continuum? I thought there was just like hydrogen or something in the pipe.”
“THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS IN THE PIPE,” James shouted. “Obviously the Plutonians were—”
“Who did you think that was?” James Fox demanded as they reached the door to the stairwell. “I always TELL you the Plutonians are trying to kill you because they hate imagination but when you actually come face to face with them you can’t even jump out of the way! You are SO BAD at saving the world!”
“Yeah… well… your mom,” was my excellent comeback

November 8th
Old Patricia apparently knows ALL ABOUT the Plutonians since she fights them in the future. So they have come to the past to kill her Terminator style? We escape somehow to The Pipe and leap into the space time continuum.

November 10th
Decide the Plutonians are attacking because they are jealous that Pluto is no longer a planet? Or something? Mostly just enjoy messing with Middle School Patricia.
“WHAT?” Middle School Patricia shouted again. “PLUTO’S NOT A PLANET?”
I patted her on the shoulder. “Sometimes the future’s hard to take.”
“I feel so lied to. And BETRAYED!” Middle School Patricia cried.
“So does Pluto,” Old Patricia said. “I think that’s where the Plutonians are getting most of their power.”
“So we need to somehow find out how to make Pluto not so bitter?” I asked. “Is that what you’re telling me?”
“Maybe,” Old Patricia shrugged. “They’ve always been jealous of Earth for our natural resources—like imagination—but declassifying Pluto as Not A Planet was the last straw. That’s when their full on attacks really began, to steal our natural resources. Why I remember back in the twenty second century when they decided to steal Stephen Hawking’s l33t math skillz and my imagination and we teamed up to take them down by dropping Mt. Etna on them and—”
“Twenty second century?” I interrupted.
“A THREE IS NOT A LETTER!” Middle School Patricia shouted at the same time.
“It is in the future,” James Fox told her. “Also, T-E-H has become the correct spelling of ‘The’.”
“NOOOOOOOOO!” shouted Middle School Patricia while James Fox and I high fived ineptly behind her.
“Gotta practice those high fives,” Old Patricia said. “One day, it may save your life.”

November 11th
Trapped in the past, Old Patricia tells us why she began her crusade against the Plutonians in a dramatic flash forward that is overly described to use up space. For effect, I decide to kill off James Fox in it.

November 12th
James Fox (in real life), pissed about his lame death scene, decides to rewrite it involving more explosions, polar bears, and sweet guitar solos. I include it afterwards to use up space.

November 13th
Decide to rewrite the same scene AGAIN from Middle School Patricia point of view.
In its entirety:
I stand in front of the library, looking dramatic and tragic at the same time in my awesome black high heeled boots and black lip stick. Like some kind of pale, ethereal dark elf where all you have to do is look at her to know that her heart has been BROKEN. She waits alone in the shadows. I mean, I wait alone in the shadows, watching the sun slowly rise in the east, watching the trees slowly lighten from foreboding shadows to leafy green.
She felt a shift in the wind, in the earth beneath her feet, in the air and the clouds. Something was coming. Something big.
She stiffened and stared towards the rising sun, drawing the slim sword from her belt she always kept concealed there. If it was orcs, she was ready for them. If it was a wizard or sorcerer, the blade was spelled to block their own charms. But no… it felt different. Alien somehow.
And then that annoying guy in the lame jumpsuit and bad haircut was running at her from down the street. She frowned, lowering her sword slightly. This could not be the threat she sensed. True, a threat to good taste he still was, but he was essentially harmless.
“They’re coming!” he choked out as he came towards her. “They’re coming!” He collapsed at her feet, barely able to breathe from his long run. He was bleeding from an arrow wound in his arm. “Run!”
“NO!” she shouted, and there was power in her words. “A seventh level librarian sorceress warrior princess mage DOES NOT RUN! She STANDS and FIGHTS against all foes! What is chasing you? What is coming?”
“It’s…” But he collapsed onto the Earth and was still before he could breathe another word.
“Fear not, noble plumber,” she said, drawing the mage sign for remembrance and peace in the air. “YOU SHALL BE AVENGED.”
The air began to shimmer and buzz as if the very molecules themselves were excited for the coming fight. The shadows began to move and coalesce until they formed the shape of four hideous monsters, all dripping fangs and pincers reaching out towards her. She felt the air around them heavy with magic, magic which they would not hesitate to use against her. She took a deep breath and reached into the magical wellspring within herself, the power the goddess had given her as her female warrior champion to protect all that was good.
She stepped forward, around the homeless man’s smelly and broken body. “STOP creatures of night!” she said to them in a strong voice that carried farther than it should have. The beasts stayed their advance and proceeded with more caution. “You shall come no further THIS NIGHT!” Totally ignoring the fact that it was dawn.
They tested her defenses tentatively with a small spell but she drew her sword up high and blocked them. They recoiled back with a hiss and began to separate to further encircle her. They wanted to have her surrounded. She grinned ruefully.
“There’s only four of you,” she said. “Hardly a fair fight. Here,” she offered. “I’ll close my eyes. Maybe that will make us more even.”
As if she needed such a petty contrivance as sight anyway. She could sense them with her magical eighth sense—THE OCHO—and reached out to them with the strong coils of her magic, entrapping their legs and causing them to trip and fall on the ground, screeching and squelching for help. The stars themselves saw her fight and rushed to her aid as she was a true daughter of the night and they had watched over her since birth. They fell from the sky in flaming snowballs of fury, striking the earth and smoldering, striking the bodies of the creatures with a vengeance that made them squeal in fright. But they were still not beaten. She lunged and slid her sword into the gaping maw of the nearest. It shrieked and shriveled, shrinking like a rotting plant in fast motion, down and down until it was about the size of a beetle. Then she stepped on it, crushing it into the ground with one black boot.
She whirled as she sensed one coming up behind her while she was thus engaged, parrying its attack with her sword, whose light flared and ebbed with her attack. She blocked another attack from one of its pincers, feeling its magic baring down on her. She raised her sword and held on even as the force of it pushed her backwards, almost into a tree. With one final burst, using all her strength, she pushed against it and then, with a final push, drove her sword into its eye.
It squealed like a stuck pig, limbs flailing and clicking and then lay still on the ground. She lowered her sword, panting, trying to catch her breath. But she had forgotten about the third creature.
It bellowed behind her, rearing. She couldn’t turn in time, the attack came at her twofold, magical and corporeal in the form of a giant, poison covered pincer that ripped her dress and cloak dramatically but not too revealingly but kind of revealingly. She was thrown backward against the ground and felt the poison burning as it went coursing through her veins. She knew she was going to die as the creature loomed over her.
“BACK YOU BEAST!” came a strong, confident voice from behind her. She could barely turn her head to see a dark figure threatening the beast with her fallen sword, picked up off the ground. The creature backed away, and even slipping out of consciousness she could feel the stranger’s strong magical presence. She heard the final squeals of the last creature before Mr. Snape Darcy was at her side.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m a potions master. I will save you if…” and here he paused dramatically. “You agree to reconsider the request I made two years ago.”
“I will never be your wife,” she whispered. “Not after what you said about my family!”
“But don’t you see, it was all a misunderstanding!” he insisted. “I was under a spell placed upon me by the Evil Bitsy Hassel who was jealous of my love for you and your own beauty and power. But when you defeated Bitsy in single combat it broke the spell and I’m free once more. Please. Say you care for me. Even a little bit.”
“Well, okay,” she said grudgingly. “If it means you’ll save my life. I guess you can be my boyfriend.”
With that he magically healed her wounds and helped her to her feet as if she were as light as a feather.
“Come back with me to my magical castle mansion by the sea,” Mr. Snape Darcy implored. “We will put this tragic event behind us.”
“No,” she said, pulling her motorcycle up and adjusting her revealingly ripped cloak around her. “You don’t understand. I ride alone.” With that she started the bike and rode off into the coming dawn, leaving him staring after her in awe.

Bitsy Hassel was my mortal enemy in Middle School, although I’m not sure she knew I existed.

November 13th
James Fox illustrates the above scene rather than working on his novel:

Middle School Patricia's motorcycle would definitely have pentagrams on it

Middle School Patricia's motorcycle would definitely have pentagrams on it

November 15th
Characters randomly pulled into a fight between Robert the Bruce and William Marsh Rice, World’s Most Powerful Cyborg. William Marsh Rice decides not to kill them for his usual reasons of “too short” or “not crunk enough”.
Meanwhile, Rice and Robert the Bruce were hurling energy beams at each other, and generally destroying all the buildings around the quad leaving each other and the statue unscathed.
“You’re just jealous,” William Marsh Rice shouted. “I have a UNIVERSITY named after me. AND a popular grain.”
“Rice isn’t named after you!” Robert the Bruce shouted. “It’s been around millennia before you were born!”
“TIME TRAVEL, BITCH!” William Marsh Rice punctuated this remark by throwing a chunk of Rayzor Hall at him.

November 16th
Because I can’t resolve subplots without just introducing more problems, Frost Giants attack!!

November 17th-19th
Middle School Patricia writes more fanfiction about Frost Giant attack.

November 20th
In attempting to repair a rift in the Space Time Continuum (while defeating the Plutonians?) the characters get randomly assaulted by people from history. And the future.

So that’s where I’m at now. This year has definitely been more ridic than last year, but I’ve still got about 17,000 words to go and 8 days. So… yeah. We’ll see if I can actually keep my vow to stick with (some form of) plot. For varying definitions of “plot”.

Hopefully this goes a little way towards explaining the various cop out posts I have been doing the past few weeks.

One response to “National Novel Writing Month 2009: A Timeline”

  1. All death scenes can benefit from the power of explosions and sweet guitar solos. Scientific FACT.
    I have all but given up hope of ever finishing my novel within the time limit, but the fact that I have contributed to your success makes me feel a little better.
    If only this were National Illustrate Middle School Patricia’s Fan Fiction Month. I would be ACE at that.

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