I’ve wanted to try my hand at NaNoWriMo for a couple of years now, but every November when I feel like it might be right, I’ve always found myself otherwise busy with other writing or work or personal life fires to put out. This year, while I won’t have any shortage of other things to get done, I’ve fortunately got a bit less insanity on my plate and better yet, I finally have a story idea that I think would read better as a novel than a comic, screenplay, or interpretive dance. Then, over the last couple months, I began concocting an idea for the most bizarre young adult novel I could muster
The story of the book is as follows:
“No one ever says ‘I wanna be the world’s biggest asshole when I grow up’.”
Bingham Barlow was 13 years old when he was first visited by a man claiming to be his future self on the field of a Little League baseball game. After shrugging him off as a perv and sending him away, he’s noticed the man popping back into his life across different points of his growing teenage life with the same story and an important agenda.
The man’s goal is simple. To train young Bing to become a more cunning and subversive criminal mastermind in hopes of avoiding a sentence of incarceration that will ultimately last him enough years to make up several natural lifetimes.
Bing wrestles with the whether the man stalking him is just an advantageous liar or worse, if Bingham Barlow really could become one of America’s most famous and reviled white collar criminals. As his older self’s arguments become harder and harder to call shenanigans on, Bing begins to find himself being slowly sucked into questioning everything about himself. What could lead him to becoming this man in 20 years time and is there any way to stop it?
An absurdist story of what happens when the idyllic person we want to be comes into conflict with the person we will ultimately become.
Sounds fun, right? That’s what I’m going for and so far, it’s only just scratching the surface. I’ve been spending the last few days of October since recovering most of the functionality of my brain on laying out plot in preparation for the coming of November 1st.
I’ve plotted the book’s beginning, it’s ending, and about 90% of what’s going to happen in between. I’m hoping to have the whole thing outlined in full before November 1st rolls around, in order to make the whole ordeal at least a little bit less difficult. I can already tell it’s going to be a hellish month with beginning my final module of college, taking a week long road trip with my mom and brother across the West Coast, and whatever other nonsense will inevitably come up between November 1st and November 30th. I’ll be doing some brief commentary posts here as my NaNoWriMo trek progresses when I have the time, and I’ve spent the last week tightening up a series of half-finished TLO entries to post over the course of the month so as not to leave you hanging, dear reader.
I’ve even commissioned a cover for the project from my friend and amazing cartoonist, Casey Bug. It’s still a work in progress, but as we’ve been talking out the concepts for the cover, she’s been sending me a lot of different progress shots. I’ve always loved her style and her Spumco-with-a-shot-of-estrogen sense of humor. She churned out a pin-up for The Zipper Club‘s first book that I think will get a metric ton of laughs. If you’ve never seen the girl’s work, I implore you to check her out.
I hope you’ll follow my progress. I’ll be posting a full preview of my first completed chapter here later in the week!