NaNoWriMo 2016 – It Begins

Today, November 1, around the country — and probably the world — lots of writers have boarded the NaNoWriMo 2016 train.

Seasoned writers, first-time writers, successful writers, old writers *cough*, young writers, writers from diverse ethnic, economic, and social backgrounds. Expectations for 2016 call for 500,000 NaNoWriMo participants. It’s kind of neat, really.


And that’s just the ones who sign up and officially register. I assume I’m not the only one partaking but doing so unofficially (as I did the previous three years). Why, the true number of participants could be in the billions!

Eh, probably not. 


So, what am I planning this year?

Well, Bob, I decided to go the short stories route. I plan to write however many short stories it takes to reach the 50,000-words goal by the end of November. Can’t talk to how many stories because they will vary in length. Could be ten 10,000 words stories, or twenty 2,500 words stories . Probably not five hundred 100 words stories. 

As usual, I will be tracking the word count using my own spreadsheet, and also, as usual, I will post what I write in password-protected posts. 

This will likely be a more difficult effort than writing a novel. The biggest difficulty will be switching mindset from story to story — new characters, new worlds, new plots. The thinking right now is to also vary the genre of the stories so that I have more than just the Science Fiction and Fantasy markets I can target for submissions.

Them who read last year’s NaNoWriMo might remember that it was a thriller/mystery offering. I’ve not mentioned it before,  but it was a pretty easy write. So easy that perhaps I should stop calling myself a Science Fiction writer and start calling myself a thriller-mystery writer who occasionally writes SF. By the way, I’m also in the process of editing that novel, something that this month will likely take a back seat to my writing.


Because I anticipate it will be a bit of a slog, I’m starting with a Michelle Maul, Private Eye story. That’s essentially an easy start for me as I find her a joy to write. 

For them who are still with me and this post, here are the first 400 words of the first of my NaNoWriMo 2016 short stories.

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Story 1
© 2016 – E. J. D’Alise

I’m Michelle Maul, Private Eye. I have a reputation for being pretty tough and not easily rattled. I mention this so that when I tell you a chill ran up and down my spine, you’ll get the full measure of who walked into my office.

Ninette Gurov came to the US as a low-level Russian Mob enforcer and had made her name at the start of the ‘96 Mob War. During the next three years she rose through the ranks and by ‘98, when most of the blood had stopped flowing, she controlled a third of the City.

She had a reputation for brutal expediency and efficiency. Whispers spoke of Ninette occasionally taking personal charge of matters, but most of the enforcing was done by her two bodyguards.

Anya Soskin and Zoya Sorokin were suspected of directly or indirectly contributing to at least twenty hits and probably significantly more, but the cops had nothing on them. No bodies, no witnesses, no snitches, no nothing. Plenty of whispers, but nothing actionable.

My chill was a direct result of Ninette standing in front of my desk and Anya and Zoya casually standing near the desk in the reception area. That’s where Dan, my assistant, would normally be sitting, but he had left early for the day.

I leaned back in my chair and let one of my hands drop below the edge of my desk. The reaction from Anya and Zoya was near instantaneous to Nicolette speaking. Both of the women drew their guns and had them aimed at me.

“Mich,” Ninette said, “I think my associates would prefer if you kept your hands in plain view.”

My hand hovered for a moment near Matthew’s grip — Matthew is my favorite .45 — before slowly bringing it up again and doing a little jazz wave to demonstrate it was empty. The gun muzzles lingered another second aimed at me before disappearing and Anya and Zoya resuming looking uninterested and bored.

“Only my friends get to call me Mich,” I said as I laid my hand palm down on the desk.

“Fair enough,” Ninette replied. “I hope to someday earn that privilege.”

She pointed to the chair.

“May I sit?”

“Depends. To what do I owe this visit?”

“I’d like to hire you.”

“No,” I answered.

Ninette smiled as she angled the chair and sat. I don’t know much about snakes, but I imagined that if Cobras could smile, they would very much look like Ninette did, only not as scary.

# # # 

The rest will be posted as soon as it’s written. 


There is something different about this particular effort. 

While I did not do an outline, I do have a general idea of the plot and the players. I wrote down the players, worked out the names, worked out some of the plot’s beat points, and — unusual for me — I have a direction, a pretty well-defined path to follow. 

Mind you, the path is not paved and lined with markers. It’s possible I will stray from it if I see a better path to follow. But, for as long as it lasts, this is a new one for me; I’m working with a map of sorts. 


It will be interesting comparing my purely-seat-of-the-pants stories to my almost-seat-of-the-pants stories. Specifically, when both are hitting the submission circuit. So far, I’ve not gotten even one personalized rejection letter and at least for a couple of the stories I’ve been submitting, I thought I would get someone saying “close, but no cigar, but close.”

Before I get a flood of encouraging remarks, I’m not dejected or worried or nuthin’. I aim to outlast the bastards . . . unless, you know, I die first. 


Besides, I have a backup plan. If I can’t make it as a writer, I can get into the vast business of supporting wannabe writers.


After all, isn’t that what they say? Those who don’t want to work very hard tell others how to work hard . . . or something like that. 

This year I’m writing to the sound of Enigma. I have a playlist with about twenty or so songs. Here’s one:

By the way, you can click on the tree photos for a larger version. The originals are in THIS SmugMug Gallery. That gallery will contain all of the photos from the NaNoWriMo 2016 update posts. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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14 Responses to NaNoWriMo 2016 – It Begins

  1. Michelle Maul! YAY! Okay, you got me…I definitely HAVE to read more! The last paragraph has the tiny hairs on my arms standing up!

    I like how you challenge your writer-self! Good luck on the NaNoWriMo 2016!

    Great music to write by!

    I wonder if only women name their guns?
    HUGS!!! :-)


  2. The only “enigma’ I enjoy lisenting to is the variations by Elgar.
    I had a go at the NaNoWriMo once, and once was enough for this chicken hearted blogger.


    • disperser says:

      I like listening to Enigma, but my wife does not like it at all. Usually, then, I listen to it with my headphones on . . . which makes it more immersive . . . which makes it more enjoyable. The path to my liking epic music was through Enigma.

      NaNoWriMo is more of a personal challenge, and in that it does work; it gets me off my butt and writing . . . er . . . rather, it gets me on my butt and writing.

      It’s actually meant to inculcate a writing ethic, a habit, if you will. The idea being that after following a regular writing regiment for four weeks, one has formed a habit that will result in them regularly writing and meeting wordcount goals.

      Whether it does that or not, I don’t know. It doesn’t in my case, but then I’m a contrarian in many things I do.


      • I’ve just had a listen to Enigma, never having heard of them before; I gave them a fair go, and, I must compliment your wife, on her good taste; at least when it comes to music! ( I insert a sarcastic smiley here )


      • disperser says:

        Music is one of those things that are difficult to pin down. I don’t typically like too much of the same thing but a lot of their offerings make the perfect background music while I write, as does a lot — but not all — epic music I listen to.

        Here’s what I’m listening right now:

        But, if you don’t like that one, you might like this next one instead, a piece from a crappy movie. No, it’s not Enigma.


  3. renxkyoko says:

    You should post the msic video ahead of the written post so I can listen to it while reading your story. ^_^ 2 birds with one stone. Oh, it sounds Asian Indian.


  4. I for one wouldn’t mind reading 500 of your 100-word stories! Good Luck with your writing this month!


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