Writing that monkey off my back

Well I’m done. For the second time and not really. I re-wrote the mess of an ending I wrote yesterday in my rush to finish. So I’ve finished Nanowrimo in that I wrote over 50,000 words of a novel. I’m not finished in that that what I wrote is neither complete in itself (I skipped some harder scenes just to write easier ones and finish) nor is the overall narrative complete. This is much more of an Act 1 than a Book 1. It’s also not finished in that I have done exactly zero editing. I haven’t spell checked it, I havent split it into chapters. It’s just one giant long stream of text. Next week I intend to finish off the scenes I left out and do the very minimum level of editing it requires before it can be considered a first draft. As it is it’s basically a first-first-draft.

Regarding the process on the whole. Well first of all I made it unnecessarily difficult for myself, due to other committments and various things best described as “this and that” I only actuallly started last week. With only ten days to write it I had to write an average of 5000 words a day. That was rough. Both in terms of getting it done and with how it took over my life. All I could think about was writing the words or having to write the words. I got basically nothing else done for the last week and a half other than the novel. So having some free time now is great. I can finally start Persona 4: The Golden for example. But it’s also sort of depressing. I’m under no illusions about the quality of what I’ve just written. It’s shite. I do think there’s something salvageable there but its going to need quite the bit of work. What’s depressing is seeing how much I can get done while properly motivated. I really need to sit down next week and have a serious think about that.

There’s no denying that the only reason I got this done was because Adam and Dave were doing it as well. So a big thanks to them and to my childishly efficient sense of competition! Considering that motivation is always my biggest weakness it really was great having rivals/companions doing it at the same time. We also all finished, which is great.

I was going to post the entire unedited mess along with this. But it’s just too sloppy. I dont think its great. But if I’m going to serve up shit I’d like to at least tart it up a little first. But I do want to post some of it, so here’s the completely raw (ooh exciting – no, just not edited or spell-checked) first 1200 or so words of it. You may consider it a teaser or an early warning depending on how you find it.


Mandatory Friday evening research lecture. By themselves each of the word’s was relatively innocuous. But when combined in the wrong order they became something more than words, something terrible. Something which was currently robbing Thomas of the will to live. Sequestered in the chilly and dark upper reaches of the large lecture hall Thomas hunched further into his oversized coat and desperately tried to pay attention. But the subject matter was like teflon and Thomas’ attention slid effortlessly across it and off the other side. It it was this bad after a mere ten minutes Thomas feared the consequence’s of sitting through another four hours of it.

However Thomas wasn’t without hope, there was one redeeming feature to this weekly torture and she was walking into the lecture hall right now. The mandatory lecture was for all the postgraduates in the school, which meant a glorious break from staring at his own pre-dominantly male class. There was one woman in particular whom Thomas was obsessed with. Not on any kind of emotional level. But as a purely visual obsession she was exactly what he needed to survive through interminable lectures on ethics and the nitty gritty of qunatitive versus qualitative research.

Thomas didn’t know her name and even if he did would never have been able to work up the nerve to use it. To be honest he wasn’t even sure what she looked like, he was always early and well ensconsced in his eerie by the time she arrived. His lofty perch and his poor eyesight, combined with the thick black curls which obscured her face as she ducked furtively into the lecture hall (perpetually late it seemed) meant he only had a hazy notion of what her face might look like. While he prided himself on being as enlightened as the next man it was primarily her body that entranced him. Her proprotions may not have been superstar gorgeous but the odd asymmetry between her prodigous chest and her relatively slender hips and posterior proved hypnotic to Thomas.

He didn’t consider her as an object for his sexual desire. A decade of near professional bachelordom and a series of personal hangups that would gurantee any therapists children a good education had left Thomas with a rather detached view of women. He simply liked looking at her. Today she was drssed in a bold mixture of red and black. Her crimson jumper drawing and catching Thomas’s eye. He spent most of his time observing her staring at her back, so the onset of colder weather and a subsequent increase in skin coverage felt almost actively unfair.

He never really thought of her during the week. But for those four hours on a Friday evening he could barely take his eyes off her.

Thomas spent two blissful hours alternately doodling randomly in his notebook and staring blissfully at his crimson clad mystery woman. The glorious break half way through the lecture was a chance to escape the tedium for a few precious moments and perhaps more importantly, replenish caffeine supplies which had grown dangerously low. Though no amount of sweet black liquid gold was going to be enough to battle the weaponised boredom of the mandatory lecture. But daydreaming can make a man awful thirsty. Supplies in hand Thomas settled back in for the second half.

Wait. Something was off. Something wasn’t right. She wasn’t back yet. Oh well. That’s ok. Maybe she was running late or had to go to the toilet. But as the lecturer droned on and the minutes passed Thomas’ unease grew. After a quarter of an hour it was pretty clear she wasn’t coming back. She’d left early. Thomas sat there feeling vaguely betrayed as the grey wave’s of boredom washed across him. But all wasn’t lost yet!

Before succumbing to paying attention to the subject matter he was here to learn Thomas had one more weapon left in his arsenal, one more hand to play. Reaching into his bag Thomas hauled out his laptop. While it offered a reliable defence from boredom Thomas always felt a bit of a dick for using it during lectures. It seemed so transparently obvious that the students with their laptops out spent about as much time checking their email and social networks as they did listening to the lecture. Thomas wasn’t against ignorning the lecture, he just felt that using a laptop to do so was artlessly gauche. Still needs must when the devil drives and surely only Satan himself would be cruel enough to place a four hour lecture from four to eight on a Friday.

The laptop booted up more or less instantly, every inch of the boot sequence and operating system tweaked and customised to the last degree. Thomas wasn’t a big fan of laptops. But if he was going to use one then it was going to work as best as it possibly could. Playing a game seemed a little too rude to Thomas, whiling away his time on random web sites was cleary the way to go. Thomas started up his browser, eager to see what the internet had been up to unsupervised in his absence.

Nothing much it seemed. Unsurprising really, it had only been twenty minutes or so since he’d checked his most used sites during the break. Friday evening also wasn’t really a busy news time. With nothing even passingly productive Thomas’ dove into the time eating morass of social networks and online message boards. Sadly not much going on there either, after peppering the newest threads that interested him with his blistering insight and seeing what his friends were up to (fuck all it appeared) he was at something of a dead end.

Perhaps it was the desperate need for distraction that made him so careless or his urge to escape the boredom meant he simply didnt care. Either way while perusing his unread mail he clicked on an email from his friend Frank with the infinitely suspecious title “You have to see this”. If the internet, the modern wonder of our age, had taught Thomas anything at all it was that if someone says “You have to see this” on the internet then its a very safe bet that no only do you not have to see the thing in question, ninety nine percent of the time you also dont WANT to see the thing in question.

The contents of the email in question were no exception to this rule. Thomas’ eyes slid across the written portion of the email. Drawn inexorably to the embedded picture, which featured a very large and very engorged male member. What was even worse, and something that Thomas wasn’t proud of, was the fact that he recognised the dick in question. It was Frank’s. Thomas recognised it not due to intimate familiarity but due to the fact that Frank had a rather unique tattoo on it. One which he had insisted on showing to Thomas when they shared a flat. Glory Days. Though, Thomas noted idly, Frank’s dick looked significantly longer and wider than it had when he’d drunkenly shown it to a room of shocked onlookers.

A quick flick of the scroll bar removed the picture of Frank’s member from the screen and Thomas began to read the accompanying email. He’d expected something along the lines of Frank gloating about yet again exposing Thomas to his genitalia. His expectations proved to be well off the mark.

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