Not NaNoWriMo – Part 12

James Proclaims (4)

As November draws to a close, so too must my series of not-novels that I won’t be writing for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

If you’re actually participating in NaNoWriMo, and you haven’t yet given up, then worry not – you still have another two days to hit the coveted fifty-thousand-word count. Also, I salute you, I don’t think, in previous years when I have tried to do NaNoWriMo, that I ever made it past day 15, and even that year I’d really started to fade quite badly by around day 8.

But for my little series lampooning the modern novel, this is the twelfth and (for the time being) final contribution.

To be honest I’m amazed I’ve managed to churn out this many.

When I came up with the concept at the start of the month I only anticipated producing five. But it seems that, while I’ve oft struggled to find the requisite inspiration to produce my own novel, I seem to have no difficulty in finding the inspiration to mock the novels of others.

I’m not sure what that says about me as a person.

Probably nothing good.

But I’ve quite enjoyed it.

Particularly the fact that some people have told me that they would actually buy and read some of these nonsensical novels.

To be fair, they’d probably all sell a lot better than the kind of introspective, self-indulgent lament on modernity that would inevitably be the focus of any novel I might actually be bothered to produce.

And high sales figures is the motivation behind today’s, final, entry into the collection:

Dan Brown

What’s that?

You were hoping for an action-packed thriller starring everyone’s favourite ‘Symbologist’ Robert Langdon? You wanted a slightly incoherent plot underpinned by historical inaccuracy, written with questionable grammar and sentences like “the tall man picked up the big red book”?

You wanted conspiracy theories, implausible dialogue and easy-to-spot plot twists?

Sorry, you won’t find any of that here.

This is a slow-moving piece of high-brow literary fiction about the ruminations of a retired postal worker as he comes to grip with the passing of time and the ever-changing state of the world around him. ‘Dan Brown’ is the eponymous hero of the story, not the author. The author is me. James Proclaims. Surely that’s abundantly clear if you look at the cover of the book?

DAN Brown

No, you can’t have your money back.

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 11

James Proclaims (4)

Back by ‘popular’ demand, here is my eleventh suggestion for a novel that I could have attempted to write during the annual novel-writing festival that is NaNoWriMo.

But to be clear, I’m not writing any of them.

Because they are not good ideas.

And today’s ‘not good idea’ is the following:

Children Of Dystopia

Are you a young adult (or do you fit into the incredibly vague parameters of what might qualify as a young adult)?

If the answer is yes, then maybe you’d like ‘Papier Mache Gorillas’, one of my earlier efforts at a potential YA novel. Or maybe you’d enjoy ‘The Golden Socks’ a magical children’s novel that should appeal to all ages.

But if they both seem a little too saccharine for your tastes, then maybe you’d prefer something a little darker.

If so, does the idea of a dystopian world appeal? One where troubled teens do battle for some hard-to-define reason? Perhaps where many of the main characters meet violent and disturbing ends at regular intervals?

Perhaps you like your fiction bleak, humourless and set in a nightmare version of the future, a sort of ‘1984’ for young people but nowhere near as inciteful or reflective as Orwell’s masterpiece.

Despite the carnage and brutal loss of life, some of the main characters will make it to the end of the novel and there will be the beginnings of a romance forming between two of the central characters, but don’t get too attached, because there will be more death, destruction and trauma in the ensuing sequels, before the trilogy of novels concludes with the toppling of the antagonistic and corrupt authority figures and an ensuing, albeit vague, sense of optimism. Nonetheless any survivors will be so traumatised that there’s no conceivable way they can ever hope to recover any semblance of joy in their lives.

Enjoy it all again as the trilogy gets made into a series of films, although you’ll no doubt be infuriated beyond all level of reason with the inevitable plot changes that will be required to make the big screen adaptation of a such a convoluted plot even remotely possible.

The Lone Planet

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 10

Have I really come up with ten of these?

Well no, as it happens I’ve come up with eleven.

But this is the tenth.

The eleventh is coming soon.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Let’s just enjoy number ten.

For it is the wonderful:

Quest Fallen

If you like Sci-Fi and Fantasy, then you’ll love this. I mean if I ever write it obviously. Which I won’t.

But which is it?

Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

They aren’t the same thing you know.

Aren’t they?

Really?

In that case it’s probably safer to say it’s Fantasy because there won’t be anything remotely scientifically credible in it.

Or maybe there will be.

I don’t know.

 I don’t even know what it’s about. But there will be unpronounceable names. Of both people and places. And battles. And strange creatures.

And probably far too much about the politics of the made-up world in which it is set.

And not a single hint of anything resembling humour.

Because this is a serious genre and should be regarded as such.

Quest Fallen

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 9

Here I am again with another idea for a book I’ll never write.

Where do they keep coming from?

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s a gift I have.

In which case, it’s quite a rubbish gift.

Still, if that’s my place in the grand scheme of things then who am I to argue?

Today’s non-contribution to the world of literature is:

Papier Mache Gorillas

This is one of those tales that views tragedy through the lens of hope.

There’ll be plenty of bittersweet humour.

Expect to laugh and cry in equal measure.

I expect it’ll be marketed towards ‘Young Adults’  (whoever they are).

But really anyone can read it.

Critics will describe it as “incredibly uplifting” and “deeply moving”.

It will be both of those things.

And not at all cloying, mawkish and a little bit conceited.

monsters

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 8

Another day, another horrendously bad idea for a novel.

A novel I won’t be writing.

In honour of my continued non-participation in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Although one person’s idea of a bad novel is another person’s idea of a ‘must-read’.

It’s all subjective really. There’s probably no such thing as bad or good.

It’s all just shades of grey…

Probably about fifty of them if we’re honest…

Which brings me onto today’s effort…

 Mr Whippy

Basically it’s an unashamed rip-off of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is a book I’ve never actually read. Mrs Proclaims has read it. She described it as “one of the worst things ever written, yet strangely unputdownable”.

Which sounds like a recipe for success if ever I heard it.

And there’s no denying that it did quite well.

Obviously I can’t copy it word for word and just change the title.

So I’m going to copy it word for word, change the title and change the character of ‘prominent businessman’ Christian Grey (I got that bit off the blurb) to ‘prominent ice-cream van driver’ Walter Whippy.

Then I’m going to sit back and watch the money come rolling in…

Mr Whippy (1)

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 7

Ok people, you know the drill. This is the bit of my blog when I tell you about a novel that I’m definitely not writing in order to fully ‘not participate’ in this year’s NaNoWriMo.

There’s a hint of Scandinavian whimsy about today’s effort as I present:

The Old Man Who Did Something

It’s essentially about an old man who does something. Probably something quite ordinary and mundane.

But in doing that thing he will doubtless make the world a better place in some sort of abstract way.

And everyone will feel uplifted.

Which can only be a good thing.

TheCircusJelly

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 6

If I were taking part in NaNoWriMo, I’d almost certainly be on track with my word count and winging my way towards a commercial and critical success.

Instead I’ve chosen to affectionately lampoon the whole thing by sketching out ideas for novels I will never write.

Because they are bad ideas.

Today’s worthless would-be work is the following:

You had me at Cello

Everyone loves a ‘rom-com’, don’t they? So, I imagine they also love the literature equivalent – I think it’s known commonly as ‘chick-lit’ although to my untrained eye that does seem sexist as terminology goes. I’m already a little out of my depth here.

On with the story then and this would essentially be centred around a cellist in an orchestra (hence the extremely clever title), who, despite being attractive, and clearly successful (I imagine it’s not easy to become a professional cellist?) has worrying self-esteem issues that instead of addressing in an appropriate and sensitive way, we’ll use to create lots of uncomfortable and highly comic scrapes for her to get herself into. Although in reality, in the broader context of the world we live in, she’s probably quite privileged and all her problems would fall very much into the category of ‘first-world problems’.

Let’s also say that she’s ‘second cellist’ (do they have multiple cellists in orchestras?) and she has her eye on becoming ‘first cellist’ when her mentor (a loveable and wise old person) retires, early in the story. Instead she is overlooked, despite her obvious talent, for a new orchestra member, who is in every way her polar opposite (except they are both cellists – let’s ignore that minor point). He’s also really attractive though.

Initially there’s a kind of sang-froid between them, but eventually, after a number of hilarious mishaps fuelled by their rivalry, they fall in love. Maybe she becomes ‘first cellist’, but in a way that allows him to step aside graciously and retain his dignity.

Let’s throw in some other clichés too. Like a kooky best friend – probably a percussionist in this tale.

And a happy ending that, when all is said and done, is probably a little ‘too happy’ to be even remotely credible.

MyPrayerJournal (1)

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 5

Hello people that are reading this, and welcome to the fifth of my ‘novel’ ideas for novels that I almost certainly will never write, except in the unlikely event that someone comes across this post and wants to read the finished work so badly that they are prepared to give me a stack of cash to write it.

But that won’t happen, so the fifth novel I won’t be writing is this:

The Dividend Yield

It’s a thriller set in the murky world of finance. It’ll be a rollercoaster ride of revenues, and an adrenaline-fuelled journey through investment opportunities.

Basically, it’ll be a cliché-ridden chronicle, probably with a murder or something at the centre of it. There will be various ‘set-pieces’ such as the main two protagonists (an unlikely pairing who have been thrown together in improbable circumstances and who despite their clear differences can’t help but feel a growing sexual tension) sneaking into a building to get information and then having to make a daring escape. There will be a twist at the end that you’ll probably work out in the first few pages of the book.

There will be a paper-thin plot that will be entirely predictable and lots of pages needlessly going into minute detail about economics, so as to turn what would have been quite a slim volume into a much thicker tome and thus give the purchaser the illusion that they are getting value for money, because nothing adds value to a reading experience than extra words. Even if some of those extra words are boring.

It’ll be made into a film starring one of either Matt Damon or Ben Affleck. It won’t be a very good film, but it’ll be vaguely watchable and reasonably cheap to make and should, consequently, make a decent return at the box-office.

The Darkness Of The Light (1)

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 4

Hello lovers of fiction and welcome to the fourth instalment of books I won’t be writing for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I won’t be writing them partly because I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, but, in the case of these particular novels, I won’t be writing them because they are genuinely dreadful ideas.

That’s the  preamble over with. Now, without further ado, today’s disastrous notion for a novel is the following:

The Golden Socks

More of a children’s tale this one. Cos they often do well don’t they.

Magic and mystery, adventures galore, child protagonists that are possibly orphans but at the very least have some kind of parental difficulties that may or may not be central to the plot.

Is this a light-hearted ‘good versus evil’ romp, with cartoonish characters and an ill-judged notion of what constitutes poverty and privilege, with some gratuitous Latin thrown in from time to time in an effort to create the illusion that the derivative and clichéd plot (though still undeniably entertaining) is more intellectual than it actually is? Will there be some kind of wise mentor figure that dies? Will other peripheral characters occasionally meet their end in an attempt to create the an artificial air of darkness?

Yes, you can expect all that and more.

Plus, there will probably be a comedic talking animal. Or loveable goblin. Or maybe a talking shoe.

MyPrayerJournal

Not NaNoWriMo – Part 3

Hello literature fans, I’m back with the third of my ‘novels that I definitely won’t be writing’ in honour of my non-participation in NaNoWriMo.

Today I’m taking things to the dark side as I present:

The Scary Gardener

Horror always does quite well doesn’t it?

And even if it’s a genre I don’t particularly enjoy myself, I’m certainly happy to cash in on its popularity.

As with my other non-novels, I haven’t got quite as far as thinking up a plot for this particular oeuvre.

But it’s going to be genuinely scary. And probably feature some sort of a gardener.

I’m out sure whether I’m going to go for a more subtle form of horror and slowly build up the tension in a predominantly real world setting which features a gardener who is a little bit sinister or go for a full-on theatrical over-the-top piece with a supernatural gardener and horticultural horrors such as tree that eat people.

Hold on!

Trees that eat people?

I’m scaring myself as I write this!

A sure-fire hit if ever I heard one.

The Tale of the Mistaken Twin