Written by Tammy Walro
Sunday, 02 November 2008 10:51
Local author Glenn Sasscer is participating in the National Novel Writers Month challenge to write a novel in 30 days, and he is inviting interested followers to help name the characters, places, and character interests.
By following along at www.twitter.com/gsasscer followers can suggest character names, backgrounds, what kind of cars characters drive, what they eat and other elements.
Beginning Nov. 1, more than 100,000 people from all over the globe will begin by sitting in front of what may be for some, the most paralyzing challenge facing any writer: a blank page.
Whether it is on a word processor, typewriter, notebook paper or a stack of empty cocktail napkins, the sheer pressure of writing a novel settles in just after midnight Nov. 1 and will not let up until Nov. 30. This defines the challenge placed for participants every year since 1999 by the NaNoWriMo website - write 50,000 words in 30 days. (For those who are counting, that’s 1,666.66 words a day.)
This will be Sasscer’s first year in the challenge. “I found the Web site through HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and reviewed the challenge in passing. I tried to dismiss it, but something stuck with me and I started wondering if I had it in me.”
Trying his hand at the challenge will not exactly be a new venture for Sasscer. His first novel, “Suffering Madness,” was released in May. He laughs, “… but it took me over 10 years to write that one!” He also has had articles published in magazines, newspapers, trade papers, curriculum, Web blogs and worked as a freelance reporter. “Part of the fun in writing a novel is making up the characters,” Sasscer said. “I always enjoyed the aspect of giving them names, coming up with background information – where were they born, what they drive, what were their parents’ names, and things like that. So I thought I would share the fun with this challenge.”
Sasscer is giving a chance for his friends, supporters or interested followers to participate in the fun of the NaNoWriMo challenge without having to write a novel. By submitting character names and information when he comes across such opportunities when writing, others can contribute without the work of writing. Any suggestions used in the novel will be acknowledged in the forward to the novel.
“The NaNoWriMo rules state only one writer can work on the project,” Sasscer explains. “But they leave the rules wide open when it comes to names, places, what kind of car the character drives and other information. This would be the same thing as walking into my living room and asking my wife for a character name; I’m just opening the window and asking anybody within earshot the same thing on the Internet.”
By using his Twitter account (www.twitter.com/gsasscer), Sasscer will post a need for a piece of information and give followers up to 24 hours to offer suggestions. Those interested in participating will need to set up a free account at www.twitter.com, then search for “gsasscer” to follow his progress. You can also find his Web site at www.tinyurl.com/gsasscer1 or by Googling his name, “Glenn Sasscer.”
From his Web site, you can click on the NaNoWriMo banner to track his progress with the writing through the month of November.
Sasscer plans to use December and January to finish the novel, polish it and then get it published in 2009. "Part of the writing process is the rewrite, polish, rewrite, polish and continued tweaking until it is done,” he said. “I hope to publish the novel in the spring of 2009 and offer it to all those who contributed at author's cost.”