I was born on 19771102T2018+0200. Thus, it is now almost an hour into my 29th, that is, 035th, that is, 0x1Dth birthday. And what am I doing right now? Celebrating? No, actually I am writing a novel.
This is the fourth time I participate in the interNational Novel Writing Month. The MissionImpossible is to write 50 000 words of fiction, a single story, in thirty days. That makes about 1667 words a day, roughly half a dozen pages of manuscript for each 24 hours of this month.
I won last year, but whether I cheated or not only $DEITY can tell. I certainly can’t. This year, I want to finish with flying colors.
Yesterday (the first day of the hellride) I learned a valuable lesson. If my writing slows to a crawl, then I am writing something I should not be writing. Rethinking the scene in question, to include some sort of jeopardy, usually helps. Not that my writing is anything close to stellar when it flows; but in NaNoWriMo it doesn’t matter. Quantity is the only thing that matters, quality is left as an exercise to the reader. Um. No. Quality is the worry of the National Novel Editing Month, in March.
Last year I cat-vacuumed by writing blog posts about the Finnish judicial system. This time I wised up and made it a topic of my novel. It is a sf story, set in a future colony world populated by Finns. Who have refrigerated the Finnish system. Well, almost. They have changed it enough that I can call it fiction. Um. Also to be able to write about things that cannot be written. If it is fiction (in fact, not just in fiction), I am not breaking my oath to keep the deliberations secret. Because it’s fiction, I am not actually writing any court case I have sat in. Setting it in a different world allows me to create court cases that would not exist in the real world. Like trying someone for a murder they are alleged to have committed fifty years ago on another planet, with no physical evidence. Oh wait, almost sounds like the Lake Bodom murders. Damn. Oh right, I forgot. I didn’t sit in that panel of judges.
Here is a bit of infodump I wrote two hours ago:
Some of the first-generation boardmen had told him stories about grand courthouses with metal detectors at the doors, a dozen courtrooms, the same number of judges and hundreds of boardmen. That was in Finland on Old Earth, of course. Not so here. The courthouse was really a modified small apartment building. There were no metal detectors; the technology was hellishly expensive and wasteful. There were no guns on the planet (except in the Old Earth Museum) and knives were not a problem. There were only eight thousand people, so one judge was quite enough, and twenty boardmen. Well, four judges, one at the Thing’s Court and three at the Apellate court. And occasionally a new graduate from the university doing their clerking to obtain their attorney status.
The courthouse had two large courtrooms. The larger generally hosted criminal trials of the Thing’s Court; the smaller was used by the Apellate court when they wanted to hear evidence themselves. Which was not very often. Civil cases sometimes used both rooms at the same time; the wall separating them could be easily removed and put back. The old-timers did approve of the layout and furnishing of the big room. Apparently they did much resemble the Old Earth system.
Riku went in, said hello to the janitor and used the ultra secret boardman access hatch to reach the back room. He was the first boardman there, so he took his time to check his appearance, took a crap and made coffee. Justice must not only be just, it must also look just and stay sharp.
Wish me luck in this insane journey, would you?
(Notice how I cleverly avoided asking for conga rats for the birthday. Tee hee. Or something.)