Tag Archives: Bucktooth

NaNoWriMo 2010: Preparation Update

There are seven more days to go before the madness known as National Novel Writing Month begins. That means there is exactly one week to get that outline fine-tuned, those characters fleshed out and your plot in working order.

So, no pressure there.

As I mentioned previously, I didn’t fully commit to last year’s competition because of lack of preparation. I felt I could write on the fly and see what happened. Well, not getting further than 12,000 words is what happened. This year I have promised myself (and others) not to fail. I cannot allow this to happen. Barring natural disasters or circumstances completely beyond my control, I will write a minimum of 1,700 words a day, every day for the month of November.

This time I’m prepared. My story has been in my head for nearly a month and now my outline suggests I’m good to go. I have – unlike last year – a beginning, a middle and an end. I have my characters named and their motivations worked out.

The Main Players

Tim “Bucktooth” Fanning: 22, five nine, 160 pounds, round face with close-cut blonde hair. He likes wearing hooded tops and denim jeans, sports an earring in his left lobe, and has tattoos on each shoulder; one supporting Manchester United, the other Celtic FC. He has blue eyes, is state educated and is angry – a lot. His parents are Robert and Marie and he lives in an inner city Dublin housing estate. Single and unemployed, he likes soccer, GAA kick-boxing and WWF. His best friend in the world is Lester Drumm and together they go to rock concerts; though Bucktooth’s secret passion is the music of Leonard Cohen.

At the beginning of the story he’s looking for some work to pay for anger management therapy, and that’s where the plot kicks off. If I say anymore I’ll be in danger of spoiling how he progresses through the novel. Needless to say he changes – but not too much that it becomes ridiculous.

Valerie D’estang is a 20-year-old Parisienne and becomes Tim’s kind of love interest. She meets him while having her photograph taken at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. This will be my novel’s first major set-piece. It will involve her father, Nikolas, a journalist with AFP, who’s also in league with the major villains of Bucktooth, the clandestine organisation known as FILTH, controlled by the mysterious Mr. Sandross.

Tracking Tim’s every move, unwilling to help when he runs into trouble, is the equally shadowy MeerLin Corporation, a philanthropic organisation with headquarters in Dublin. Are they a force for good or evil, or are they somewhere in between?

Supporting Cast

Charles Formly: CEO, MeerLin Corporation.

Frank Lord: Chief of Ops, MeerLin Corporation.

Deandra Rimes, Security Chief, MeerLin Corporation.

Dicky Boyes, Press Officer, Meerlin Corporation.

Mr. Sandross, CEO, FILTH.

Dieter Hassberger, Security Chief, FILTH.

Frau Kessler, Mr. Sandross’ Personal Assistant.

Georges Matelot, UN Representative, Geneva.

Various goons, minions and henchmen.

The Locations

Dublin – Berlin – Athens – Geneva – Paris – London – Dublin (again)

The Plot

It involves a powerful historical artifact, a group of Neo-Nazis, some Chinese assassins, a little bit of sight-seeing, fights in airport lounges and a man who may or may not know who killed Pope John Paul I in 1978.

I have this and much more besides, ready to go for this day week.

How is your own preparation going?

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I’m a Writer, Damn it!

Okay, the fun’s over, people. There’s work to be done here. No laughing at the back, you hear me? I’ll not have any messing while I give this little talk to you all.

I’ve been sick, all right? Not as sick as some, I grant you – but still, I’ve not been at my best. I’ve been a bit shitty, if I’m to be honest. Sneezing, coughing up a lung or two, running a temperature, quietly putting together a broken heart; the kind of stuff all members of the human race go through in life. I’m no different.

But while I’ve been inactive, I’ve felt that I haven’t been me. I thought I was going mad. Franz Kafka wrote, “A writer who doesn’t write is, admittedly, a monster asking for insanity.” Writing, for me, is therapy. Any kind of writing. God, how I miss writing letters to friends and family. It’s all texts and emails nowadays.

But I digress. I am angry at myself for letting things get to this point. I know we’re allowed to be unwell. At some point we’re allowed to indulge in a little bit of “poor me” thinking, too. The trick is to see it for what it is – and get the hell over it. You see what I’m saying here? Writers write, okay?

W.R.I.T.E.

If you don’t, you’re a fraud. End of story.

In sixteen days’ time, NaNoWriMo kicks off. The thirty days of madness, loved and hated in equal measure by all who’ve taken part in it, is once again upon us. And you know what? I’m going to have another go. Last year I gave up after 13,000 words. Lethargy kicked in and I let it get the better of me. To this day I still get people asking me what happened to the rest of the story. To them I say, I will finish it – but not just yet.

This time around I want to try something new. A friend suggested an outline to me and I liked it so much I decided to take it and throw a different spin on it. For the first time in this writer’s short career, I will attempt to write a comedy adventure. The title of the story is Bucktooth, and if I have my way (and if I do my job properly) it will be a rib-tickling roller-coaster of a ride that homages, of all things, The Blues Brothers and James Bond.

I have a plan, an outline, a list of characters, and a reason to start enjoying my talent again (yes, I believe I have one). 50,000 words over 30 days sounds like a lot, but if I break it down into three sessions (morning, afternoon and evening, 566 words a session), it is more than doable.

Not anyone can do it, but any writer worth his or her salt is duty bound to give it their all. I will, you can bet your life on that.

Will you?