Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo upcoming

Looking for characters and clues on the sports desk

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that during the month of November, I vanish – or at least fade out for a while. That's because November is National Novel Writing Month, when I take up the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

I've been participating in this event since 2004, and I've always made the 50K-word mark. That first year, I did an action-adventure yarn that ended up going nowhere, but since then, I've been doing murder mysteries. The formula is simple: I start in an interesting location, I create a totally obnoxious, unlikeable character, I give about a dozen people reasons to want that character dead, I kill that character off, and then I spend the rest of the 50,000 words investigating all of the suspects. My main character is a community-college English instructor who sometimes gets some help from her police-detective boyfriend.

In past years Hannah and Harry have investigated murders at the community college, the yacht club (who could ever imagine that sailors would bicker and have conflicts?), the family reunion (that one was my mom's idea), and the little theater. In this year's NaNo novel, Hannah has been invited to write a guest column on grammar for the local newspaper, and she discovers intrigue and then murder on the sports desk.

So … this year, I'm asking for input about what sorts of characters might be hanging around the sports desk, or be subjects of articles and investigations by reporters on the sports desk, or otherwise might be involved in a murder on the sports desk. I've got a few ideas from when I worked on the sports desk of a metropolitan daily newspaper some years ago, but I'm interested in hearing others' ideas.

When I mentioned this year's title to someone who works for a sports promotion firm, she immediately suggested that I kill off a photographer. But I'm kinda sweet on photographers, especially as my son is now in college learning how to be one.

FWIW, based on the chronology of when last year's NaNo novel ended, it's hockey season.

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Blogger Tillerman said...

Yes, but one of the characters could be a former sports photographer who now works for another newspaper on the other side of the country in another capacity, perhaps the archives department. He is famous at the newspaper for taking the only photo of the winning goal when the local team won the Stanley Cup many years ago.

Nobody has actually seen him for years but all of a sudden he starts leaving comments on articles on the online version of the newspaper. At first people laugh at his witty comments but then Hannah realizes that his comments might be clues to the murder!

Tue Oct 27, 05:58:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Andrew said...

Was the family reunion on your dad's side or your mom's side. And if your mom's side, who was killed? The answer could really influence my response to who should be killed in this murder mystery!

Tue Oct 27, 05:50:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

The family reunion murder mystery was two years ago ... it was set at a family lake house on a narrow lake in Tennessee (I decided relocating to the state next door was OK). The person who was killed was a meddlesome and obnoxious great-aunt who was actually modeled after someone in Pat's family, rather than anyone in mine.

Tue Oct 27, 11:56:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

T-man, I'll have to check with O Docker about the plausibility of such a scenario. I mean, really, the only photo of a Stanley Cup winning goal? Seems awfully fishy to me.

Wed Oct 28, 12:10:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Maybe I could turn this into a writing project: have everybody turn in a possible "Clue"-type solution: "It was the outdoors editor in the break room with the hockey stick."

Wed Oct 28, 01:13:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Andrew said...

I feel better after hearing the location and victim relation at the family reunion murder. But what color was the boat dock?

The victim was the overbearing obnoxious security supervisor. (He did not actually do any security, he just used his job to watch the games for free.) He 'overdosed' on human growth hormones. I have no idea what the symptoms would be in an overdose, but I am sure it is possible. What would a hockey player use as a performance enhancer?

Wed Oct 28, 11:48:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Oh, the boat dock was red. And the best place from which to catch fish was actually the party barge tied up to the boat dock.

I did make one change -- I added a couple of Sunfish small sailboats for all the kids to mess about in on the lake.

Thu Oct 29, 12:24:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Tillerman said...

Carol Anne. You doubt the plausibility of my plot suggestion. Didn't you read This Just In?

Fri Oct 30, 03:41:00 PM MDT  
Blogger O Docker said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, Carol Anne.

At most papers, photographers are near the top of everyone's hit list, so bumping one off would be a perfectly logical thing to do.

Don't get me started about sports reporters. Most live in their own peculiar world. A lot of them are night people, since what they cover happens after dark. By the time they do after-game interviews and follow-ups and then file, they're into that nether world of the wee hours. And then, they're kinda wired, so they can't just go home. They're hungry - and thirsty. They frequent establishments in that nether world that can provide them nourishment and sustenance. Over the years, sports writers have occasionally been known to develop an enhanced appetite for liquid refreshment that can color one's entire outlook on life.

Many exist on a diet consisting solely of pizza, corn chips, and this liquid refreshment. They are often people of few words, seldom affecting a grandiloquent style, but confining themselves to monosyllabic expression. Since they are so absorbed in their work and a certain raw lust for life, many don't find the time to attend to matters of personal hygiene that those of us with less colorful lives find important.

Sat Oct 31, 11:08:00 AM MDT  
Blogger JP said...

Good luck with the writing!

Keep meaning to do it but alas pressure of work etc sometimes just don't want to look at the laptop in the evening or weekends.

I actually have an idea this time..... (no not telling!)

Sat Oct 31, 11:34:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Yeah, when I worked at the sports desk, the sports editor was definitely one who appreciated that liquid refreshment -- sweet guy, but his abilities were fading.

There was one reporter who actually did have something of a grandiloquent style, maybe too grandiloquent. When he bought a new plum-colored Ford Probe, we had the idea to change the b to an s on the logo on the car.

Sat Oct 31, 11:27:00 PM MDT  
Blogger JP said...

Hello from Baku

Thu Nov 05, 07:08:00 AM MST  

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