Partly relevant post: NaNoWriMo starts in eleven hours and seventeen minutes

I keep making the point that I’m coming at my analyses of anime and manga from my perspectives as a writer and an animator.

That’s fun, really. For instance, I’ve gone back to the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga (the only really complete source available these days), and I’ve been struck by how carefully constructed the relationship between Shinji and Rei is. It’s masterful, and one of these days I’m going to break it down in horrifyingly anal-retentive detail.

Rei and Shinji

Gratuitous shot of Shinji (left) and Rei.

But today is not that day, and this week is not the week. One of the things a writer has to do is write. (As I have told my writer-wannabe students, if you call yourself a writer and you don’t write, you’re not a writer, you’re a liar.)

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I don’t know why they still call it National; writers from all over the world participate these days. (In fact, the Australian writers are already at it.) In any case, the goal is to produce 50,000 original words of text in a month.


The NaNoWriMo logo. ‘Atsa alotta o’s.

So, tonight at midnight, with a stein of Guinness Extra Stout at my elbow, I will put fingers to keyboard and start the journey. I have succeeded in banging out 50,000 words every November since 2007 and expect to succeed again; what I would prefer to do is get a complete first draft of a new novel (maybe 80,000 to 90,000 words) done.

My story is solar-punk influenced and set in the not-so-distant future after the Antarctic ice pack has gone ker-flump and the rising sea level is forcing people into desperate measures. (Any relationship between this time period and the 2015 of Neon Genesis is, actually, really, I’m not being sarcastic, an accident.) It will have at least one secret agent, one electric golf cart, and one smart-ass Artificial Intelligence. The rest is a secret.

If you look me up on the NaNo site (ddalessio), you can see that the novel is tentatively titled Lifeship. What you don’t know is that’s a joke. The songs that ended up on the great album Who’s Next by the Who were originally written for an aborted rock opera called Lifeship. So I stole the name. Mua ha ha ha ha.

So, anyway, I’ll be writing frantically for the next 30 days. Rest assured I have lots of blog posts – including one about Neon Genesis, so there will be more gratuitous shots of Rei Ayanami– stored up, so I will be with you every Sunday as usual.

If you’re NaNo-ing too, give me a shout. And good luck to everyone, whatever you’re doing.

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