Friday, October 22, 2010

A Little Contest

NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, begins in ten days. The challenge is to complete a book of at least 50,000 words in thirty days.
My writer's group will all be on board, and so I will as well, with the caveat that I don't (generally) write fiction.

So I'm kicking it out to you. We'll make it a contest. You suggest in the comments what you want me to write about next. I'll pick a winner and give myself thirty days to write the first draft of that book. If it falls into a category that my regular publisher will be interested in and it holds up... the person who suggested the subject and title will get a signed copy. If it doesn't fit that category, I'll do it as an e-book and e-mail a copy to the winner.

So, since there's a chance that multiple people might want the same subject, you have to suggest a subject, a title (especially since I suck at titles) and leave enough information in the post that I can contact you (or at least give you a shout out) so I know where to send the results.


Toby said...

The 'Dr.Seuss' Book of Violence we discussed.... Probably nowhere near 50,000 words, but I'd like too see it anyway! :)

Jason Azze said...

An Arizona (or TX or NM) rancher out inspecting his fences comes across a young man, half dead, sneaking through his land.

The kid seems to be mute. The rancher takes him in. It turns out the kid is wanted for a crime back home. Did he do it? What will the rancher do?

Jason Azze said...

I forgot the title. Err....

The Silent Son

No, that stinks.

Because the rancher and the kid work on repairing the ranch fences while they have their one-sided dialogues. And it's all about borders, of course. See, that Literature degree I got is useful for something.

Scott said...

The Predator's Mind.
About a predator who weaves a mess of people into his web of evil. One of them begins to see what is coming and prepares to break all social norms to stop the predator, but in the process betrays a close friend.
Should involve prison, water and a roll of duck tape.

David Kafri said...

I heard you, in a story-tellers podcast some time ago, tell of an experience you had on the job with a prisoner teaching math to other inmates. He turned out to be an illegal immigrant on his way to Canada but caught by US Imigration he was arrested and was to be shipped back to Libia where he would most likely be executed for deserting the army. On that podcast you spoke of the feeling that everyone was just doing their job - Immigration, Wardens, whoever - and that this will cause a good, honest man to die.

What if someone decided NOT to "just do his job", but take this guy to Canada instead? What measures would it take? what lines will he/she have to cross? what personal price will they have to pay? will they succeed?

Title: To Help a Math Teacher.

Mac said...

Violence As Social Intercourse.

Rory said...

soCool suggestions, but I was actually thinking of the next non-fiction book. What should follow "7" (Now retitled "Facing Violence"?

Unknown said...

Performing in

Self Defense Scenarios
Cops and Robbers for Adults

Maija said...

Title: "Training to Live. Training to Survive: 52 Exercises/Assignments for Walking Through Life Better Prepared"

.... or something like that ....

Include games to practice awareness, urban anthro, skills training, reading, writing etc etc - whatever you think would be most useful
Thinking 52 - One or each week, like homework for a year.

Jim said...

What should follow 7? Eight, of course!

Not sure; have to see 7/Facing Violence. But I'd suggest that something about designing and using scenario based training would be useful work...

Nick Lo said...

Based on reading your eBook on Smashwords (and following on from my review) I have so many angles I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on so here is a list that immediately comes to mind:

- Violence from the bottom up: The seemingly benign lower levels where more extreme levels develop, e.g., playground situations. For example how to prevent a nice personality lacking any ability to be assertive and developing into a victim. When you describe things like the Monkey dance etc, they all begin in early life and learning how to deal with them is generally much easier and safer at this level than it is later in life. Not to forget also that for many of us the playground can be the most violent place we experience.

- Victim avoidance: In the Warrior Traditions podcast interview you mentioned how a bratty loud kid is probably a less likely kidnap victim than a polite one. Only someone with experience of the predator personality would have an idea of ways to make yourself unattractive to such characters.

- Ignore fiction and deal with fact: The book pointed out how misleading fictional violence can be but for many it's the most immediate point of reference should a situation occur. An example I discussed tonight: If a situation occurred right now in our neighbourhood which required some immediate interception (eg a domestic dispute where a child was being hurt) what points of reference do we use with how to deal with it. TV would suggest that the biggest strongest male step in as some kind of lone hero but your book pointed out how abhorred the hero character is by violence professionals. Can ordinary citizens behave in any way like a team in such scenarios?

Actually I realise this could get very rambling so after a pause and further thought I think the main question I came away from this book asking was also partially discussed in your similarly rambling interview on the Warrior Traditions Podcast: How we get those around us who are "nice" to not become victims. As a father of two growing daughters this has become a fairly frequent thought. I try to teach them to be good people but good people need to know when not to be if the situation arises. This must be an even more constant thought for violence professionals who come home to their families and worry about them becoming victims.

I cannot suggest a title as my offering is way too random but I can suggest a format: How about an interview like/case study/etc format along the lines of books like this one:
I noticed that there were points when you were genuine enough to admit that you couldn't talk about certain matters for lack of personal experience. I suspect however that you do have the writing skills to help others elaborate that do have such experience. The inclusion of a woman's voice in such a book would also likely increase the potential audience.

Anyway, I hope some of that is helpful, my head is still bouncing around topics from your Smashwords book and it's still a bit incohesive at the moment.

Travis said...

I'm not the first first to suggest a training/ scenario book but would like to throw out a title suggestion for such work.

"Practical Violence". Technically "Practicing Violence" is more accurate but I like the ring of the first one. It both suggests what the book is about and keeps the running theme of 'violence' in your titles.

Charles James said...

Pooh's Book of Violent Behaviors

Much like the "tao of pooh" this one can provide your insight in the pooh like format, etc.


Anonymous said...

Hooray! I'm doing NaNoWrimo too, my second time!

I like many of the suggestions, was just thinking of a tweak on "Practical Violence" --collapse of society thanks to (random disaster) and protagonist is training 'nice' people to defend themselves.
Ooh! ooh! and he could SAY in his past life that he was a prison guard, but it comes up at a most awkward time that he was actually a con! (whether he's gone straight, or at least *good*, up to you)
...on reflection, my own story "A Life of Evil" (part 2 this year) is about a nice young lady who has to learn to deal violence to fit in and survive in a very bad place.

Master Plan said...

Principles of Violence. It'd know, principles of effective physical technique.

Kasey said...

The world really needs a book about an extremly attractive SWAT team leader who also runs a martial arts school. The world as we know it ends and our hero has to take the only skills he has and survive. So he turns his students into elite gurellia fighters and becomes the Shogun of post apacoliptic Minnesota. Kind of "The Road" meets "One second after" meets "Red Dawn" meets "The Seven Samurai" meets the "dirty dozen" type thing. PS the word awesome has to be in the title

Tiff said...

I'm with Maija on this one -- one of those "violence tips/scenarios/exercises per day" kind of books would be badass.

Bram said...

It seems the internet ate my comment.
Personally I'm not that interested in scenario training, I'd like to see a book on how you managed to talk people down that were delirious, on drugs, schizophrenic, etcetera. You've mentioned a couple of things here about posture and voice (pitch and speech rate), but never explained what it is you do.

As for a title I had:

Negotiating Safety

I disregarded how to sell if your life depends on it, but it might make a nice subtitle.

Rory said...

Cool so far. There's a definite leader right now, but still five days to go (Nanowrimo begins Nov 1st at midnight).
Bram- here's a small section on that in Facing Violence coming out in May and the manual for Conflict Communications (my collaborator is adding to my first draft now) has more detail. Great idea... though, really it would not be long enough for a book.

Baby T-Rex said...
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Baby T-Rex said...
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Irene said...

I'd be interested in an expansion of your thoughts on how team dynamics in a violence situation (eg your SWAT team) translate into non-physical-violence environments (workplace, social dynamics, etc).
Y'all touch on that in the Conflict Communications material but I think there's also a leadership thread that you haven't fleshed out.

For a title I'd do something that plays off of "SWAT": "Successfully Working As a Team" or something like that.

Anonymous said...

OMG...Irene's suggestion of book and title is BRILLIANT, totally tapping that management-book thing.
I don't think it would work for the finger-blurring "type-like-a-madman!" wordcount generation, but it sounds GREAT for when one has time to sort it out.
--Unless of course it does make you go 'Yeah, I've always wanted to get all these ideas down' and they're lining up and jostling to get on the paper first!

Kasey said...

So, It's Nov 1st. You doing post apoclyptic Minnesota or what? If you want to keep it fiction maybe wait to see if Dayton gets elected Gov. :)