Today's tip for the top: If, when you are nose-deep and motorboating in the heaving bosom of the demon drink, you agree to do something in somewhat of a rash manner, don't ever write it in your diary. (I will just pause here to let you wipe the tears of laughter away from your beautiful eyes and refocus on your screen. Yeah, I've got a paper diary. Not for some neo-Luddite chic, just because I am guilty of massive O2 contractual idiocy and am shackled to my poxy not-iPhone for another six months at least) Because if you do, you will forget you've agreed to it, carry on down into the navel of the demon drink and filthily beyond, wake up the next morning, blithely continue about your day, and it could be weeks before you open your diary to the correct page and get slapped in the face by the biro-scratchings of your drunken self. And that can be a painful slappin'. Not to mention the small blush of shame at your bad penmanship.
Here's what I've agreed to do. Not exactly life-changing or horrifying, but still terrifying and exciting in equal measure: take part in National Novel Writing Month, or cutey-cutely, NaNoWriMo, which involves...yes, yes...! Writing a novel in a month. Pleasingly, the site counsels that quantity is a higher virtue than quality, setting an arbitrary target of 50,000 words in 30 days and not bothering with editing, plot structure, character development, or showing it to anyone else ever. Sounds like a good deal. So, in a useful warming up exercise designed to get the blood pumping through the writing cortex - or a slowly-expanding deadly leak of precious, precious writing oil on the hairpin bend of success (and guess which I'm going with, folks...) here's a few novel ideas I have been batting around like a cat on a frictionless surface. (No mu, you see. One for the physicists! *high-five, presumed in a vacuum*)
1. Warrrrrrr and Peace (Up A Lamppost)
A pretty sprawling tale, in all: there's a cast of thousands interacting and chatting and laughing and loving and screaming and dying and generally experiencing life to the very fullest. It's actually quite a dull read, until the dying moments, when it's suddenly revealed that THEY'RE ALL DOMESTIC DOGS!
Pros: good shock value with the ending, may tap into lucrative personalised novel market (starring Rover! Yes, your Rover!)
Cons: title may give it away just a teency skoosh, quite difficult to work in all the plot-relevant ball-licking and constant repetition of "sausages" without causing suspicion
2. The Wayfarers' Guide To The Universe
A normal English bloke suddenly discovers his curiously vehicularly-named best friend is an alien who takes him on a befuddled journey round a universe he can't comprehend whilst nursing an endless thirst for a good latte.
Pros: Could work in some mysterious number shenanigans, just like in Lost! Able to tack on unconvincing romance in the film version
Cons: Is it me, or does that sound...maybe a bit...familiar...?
A Joycean stream of consciousness following a man trying to go about his daily business while really, really, really needing the toilet. Onesies, not twosies. This isn't Stalinist Russia.
Pros: Nice kinetic theme, could knock novel off in two days once on a roll. Heh, "roll". Heh, "stream".
Cons: ..oh.......ohhhhh no. Uh. I just have to go and change now.
4. Just Rested My Eyes
Tale of a very-late-twenties blogger who forgoes all other writing outlets and goes to live a hermit's life up a tree in Bishop Stortford to try and forget the shame of being reduced to cheap wee-wee jokes.
Pros: Would probably be quite easy to write, could be inspiring for other rubbish bloggers
Cons: Laptop stops working when soaked with tears, risk of self-referential meta black hole opening up and consuming whole planet
Hmm. T-minus, as the smart ones say, 7 hours until novel-writing start-me-do. And T-minus 6.5 hours before the real Olympic procrastination kicks in, this being procrastination on, at most, a spirited amateur level. I shall keep you posted, you lucky dickens.