Today I finished the new draft of Nothing Zero. Coming in at 91,000 words, it’s easily the longest thing I’ve ever written. Given that this draft ballooned to nearly double its original length, I’m going to need time to properly edit it and prepare it for publication. Unfortunately time is something I’m incredibly short on at the moment.
Today is the beginning of NaNoWriMo and I’ve decided to participate. This means I’m trying to crank out a 50,000 word this month. While I doubt my ability to do it this year, I want to give it my all. As a result, I’m backing away from Nothing Zero until December. At that time I’ll sit down with the novel and give it the love and care it desperately needs. I’m certain that I can complete a speedy edit, but I’m not going to commit to that. Ideally, Nothing Zero will be published in late December or early January at the latest. It may be a few months later than I originally planned, but it still feels good to finally be done.
Now I can begin my NaNoWriMo book, Haunt Me. This time I’ll be sure to back-up my work in multiple places.
The first draft of Nothing Zero is nearly complete. Writing it as part of NaNoWriMo has forced me to think about my craft in new ways and change my process. The version of Nothing Zero that be released early next year will be quite different than what I finish tomorrow. The final product will have to be drastically rewritten and altered, but that’s not to say my participation was a failure. If nothing else, this quickly written draft has forced me to re-think the story I was going to tell, and consider angles I hadn’t previous thought about exploring. That alone has made this a more than worthwhile endeavor.
The feedback reaching crescendo, Nothing collapsed.
Microphone cord wrapped tightly around his forearm, he got his knees and screamed. At first his shrieks were atonal wailing, but crawling across the blood slicked stage his sounds gradually began to form words. Rising to his feet, he repeated the phrase. Even after the guitar feedback fell to silence, he gave voice the words that had haunted his every waking moment for the past week. He didn’t understand what they meant, only that they held some deeper meaning beyond an ominous statement to send the crowd home with. “This is the end of everything,” he cried one final time and slammed the microphone down.
Hair tangled in sweaty clumps, body covered with sweat and blood, eyeliner streaking his face, dress torn and stockings hopelessly shredded, Nothing stumbled towards the front of the stage. The Hammerstein Ballroom was sold out. 3400 kids, all deathly pale and dressed in black raised their hands as they chanted his name. Looking out across the crowd, Nothing Zero felt alive.
Unfortunately the feeling was only fleeting.
Feeling the afterglow from his performance starting to slip, Nothing tore the tattered remains of his dress off. There were thousands of videos posted to YouTube of him performing the act. He knew that everyone in the crowd had already watched him strip down to his panties and garters, but that didn’t matter. Every time he did his little strip tease he received the same wave of excited squeals from the crowd.
When he was alive, Nothing would have done anything to hear those screams. He dreamed of performing with a band for thousands of adoring fans, selling millions of records, posing for magazine covers and filming music videos. But as a small town boy, he feared his dreams would never come true. He was afraid he would remain trapped in his small town life, all of his hopes and dreams unfulfilled and his life unnoticed by anyone but the bullies and assholes who lived to abuse him.
But then Nothing died.
Death awoke something dark and terrible inside him. As a Nephilim Nothing was reborn as a creature of great power and endless hunger. But most of all, Nothing has found himself with everything he dared dream of when he was alive. In the middle of a sold out tour promoting his second chart-topping album, Nothing should have been elated. But staring out at the thousands of adoring kids with their Nothing Zero shirts and screaming for him to throw them his dress, Nothing felt nothing at all.