Thursday, 1 November 2007

NaNoWriMo 07: Day One.

The stage is set, the green flag drops!

I've just finished writing my quota of words for today. My mind seems so numb, and my eyes can't seem to focus on anything right now. I managed to finish one chapter of the novel and my word count so far is 5077 words. Yay me! *clap clap*

I'm feeling good about myself right now but this year I don't want to brag about it too much like I did last year. The enthusiasm only lasts for a few days, then it's downhill all the way, until something good happens, which is not often, if ever.

The outline idea seems to have worked for me... so far. Also, unlike last year when I used Google Docs to write my novel, this year my noveling software of choice is the awesome Scrivener. (However, I am using only the free, unsupported and outdated Scrivener Gold.) This particular software is like a project manager for novel writing. It keeps and sorts all your research and data you've collected while researching your novel in one place and makes it easy to access while you're writing the novel. It also helps categorise and label your various drafts and chapters. The most useful feature for me, I think, is the ability to display pictures and notes alongside your draft to help you compose your prose. Unfortunately for Windows users, Scrivener is Mac only. Ah well.

Anyway! Enough hawking products!

Here's a tasty (but unfortunately raw and unedited excerpt of my awesome novel):
It was morning and the window was left intentionally open. The sky was overcast as usual, the day still dim and Simpang Junction’s inhabitants still groggy, evident in the slow way they shuffled along the streets below. Suraya had already been at her desk for one hour but she still felt lazy. She always hated this time of the morning when she could never seem to motivate herself enough to get into gear and start her work. Even though the window was open, the room was insufficiently lit. Suraya took a piece of paper from her “In” tray and read it. There was not enough light in the room, so she got up and walked across to the light switch. The lights flickered into life, and Suraya blinked.

She thought she had noticed something at the window and looked again closely. There was nothing there now. She shrugged, decided she needed a coffee and walked over to the coffee-maker that was skulking in the corner of the room. The coffee-maker sensed her approaching and nervously tried to sneak away. Suraya knew it couldn’t go too far. It was still plugged in to the electric socket on the wall but the coffee-maker never gave up trying to escape. As she was pouring the foul-smelling liquid into her mug, she noticed something moving in the corner of her eye. She didn’t think much of it at first because she thought that maybe it was the smell affecting her. But before she could turn around to make sure, there was a loud, crunching thud, like a table landing upside-down after being dropped from a great height.

Suraya almost dropped her mug of foul-smelling coffee, but quickly regained her senses when she remembered why she had left the window open in the first place. She placed down her mug on her desk and walked over to the window where there was dark, black heap on the floor, groaning. She was right. It was a Recruiter. This particular Recruiter happened to be an Orangminyak, a little man, no bigger than a 10-year-old boy, who’s skin was covered in slippery, thick, black oil. It was said that the oil exuded from tiny pores in the Orangminyak’s skin and was the result of a curse many, many generations ago. Suraya had not met many Orangminyak, and this was the first time she saw one as a Recruiter.

“Can’t you people walk in through the door like everyone else?” Suraya said with a little annoyance. “Look at this mess.”

When the Orangminyak Recruiter had jumped in through the window, he must have slipped on his own oily feet and crash-landed on the floor. There was a pile of scattered papers on the floor. The Orangminyak Recruiter quickly righted himself up and gathered the papers, getting smudged and oily in the process.

“Very sorry, miss,” he said miserably, “I’m new at this. Here are the latest reports for the Administrator.” He handed over the oily stack of papers to Suraya. “Well, best I’d be going now.” He grinned sheepishly and Suraya baulked at seeing the bright red innards of his mouth. It contrasted with the blackness of the Orangminyak’s skin, his eyes, even his lips. The Orangminyak scrambled up on to the window sill without much grace as his feet kept slipping here and there, leaving oily marks everywhere. Then it jumped out and disappeared out into the hustle bustle of the town.

Suraya took a look at the papers she had just been given. Usually there was nothing interesting about the reports that the Recruiters dutifully handed in every week or so. Suraya leafed through the papers, glancing at the contents as she made her way back to her desk. She made a minor mental note to ask the janitor to clean up the mess made by the Orangminyak Recruiter then promptly forgot about it. She continued leafing through the papers absentmindedly when she got to her desk and started to drink her coffee. The foul smell must have woken her up to something. She turned back to the first page and began reading the report more carefully. She turned the pages slowly this time, reading every each word. She gasped. Could it be?

Suraya got up from her desk, the stack of papers firmly in her hands and walked to the far wall, to knock on the door of the Administrator’s office. She waited a few moments, then ventured to open the door a bit, and poked her head in. The Administrator was at his desk, the window with the whole view of Simpang Junction behind him. He seemed to be signing some documents when he noticed Suraya peeking in through the gap of the door. He raised his left hand and waved her in. When Suraya came up to his desk, he eyed the oily and smudged stack of papers she had in her hands.

“Recruiter reports, is it? Don’t tell me an Orangminyak delivered this in,” he said, a little incredulously.

“Yes, but that’s not the most interesting part,” Suraya said, handing over the papers to the Administrator. “I think you should really read this immediately.”

The Administrator merely raised an eyebrow at Suraya, then began to read the first page. Suraya stood waiting while he continued reading the other pages.

“I see. I should say this is good news,” the Administrator said without much enthusiasm. “We have found a better candidate for my replacement.”

“And he is your son.”

“He is my son.”

“I never knew you had a son.”

“It was a long time ago.”
Lame. But fun! This excerpt is only 1/5th of what I wrote today.

4 comments:

  1. wah! and it's good stuff too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. *bows and curtsies* Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ted - sounds like a very enjoyable story. Keep going!

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  4. Thanks Eliza! Am slogging through...

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