Sunday, December 5, 2010

I got dem ol' post-NaNoWriMo blues again, mama!

My fellow citizens of the world,

So here we are, five days into the month of December. The glory that was National Novel Writing Month is now but a flickering ember. (You see? That's just the kind of hackneyed metaphor you can expect from us amateur writer types.) In case you were wondering: yes, I finished my novel, meaning that I limped across the 50,000-word finish line before November 30 and dropped to the ground, exhausted. Here, incidentally, is the cover I designed for my book:

The cover design was inspired by one of Andy Warhol's silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe:

As you can see, the novel I spent a month writing is called Perforated, and it is about the paper towel industry. Specifically, it is a "memoir" written by an advertising mascot named Thirsty Lad. (That's him on the cover.) Essentially, this book takes place in a universe in which advertising characters like Tony the Tiger or the Jolly Green Giant are real and live among humans, somewhat like the 'toons in Roger Rabbit. The book is really meant to be a parody of those quickie cash-in books written by B-list celebrities. I pass by a bookstore on my way to work, and I see these silly, disposable pseudo-books prominently displayed in the window each morning. I guess something snapped in my brain, and I felt the need to parody them as savagely as possible. But I didn't know if I could get 50,000 words out of that premise, so I made it the story-within-a-story. The wraparound story is about how the whole book is actually being written by an insane dentist whose crimes against society are so ghastly, so utterly horrific that they cannot be described. I don't know where the "killer dentist" plot came in, except that I'm afraid of dentists and I'd recently screened both versions of Little Shop of Horrors for an article I'd written on another site.

Anyway, I'm glad to have "won" NaNoWriMo this year, but I mostly learned what not to do if I ever try this again. For one thing, I'm not going to wait until the morning of November 1 to decide on the the subject of the book, and I'm not going to try to improvise an entire novel from scratch with no outline or even a basic game plan. Perforated is an awful mess, probably unreadable, but it does exist. Anyone who is interested in reading it is certainly welcome to do so. Is there some easy, convenient way to post an entire novel on the internet (preferably with formatting)? If anyone has a suggestion, let me know.