A story of NaNoWriMo

Like thousands of characters every year, Random Idea #42 dreams of one day starring as the protagonist in a NaNoWriMo novel of her very own. It's not easy when you don't even have a name yet, but she's determined to try.

But when November looms and a friend helps her land a role, she gets thrown into more than she bargained for. Forced to team up with a surly inter-novel investigator, she ends up thrust into a dark plot involving the Travelling Shovel of Death, and discovers the fate of the novels that never made it to 50k...

We'll probably never find out where free shrimp dinners come from, though.

(Starring: a full cast of scientists, detectives, zombies, ninjas, pirates, robots, awful romance novel protagonists, trebuchets, malicious gardening implements, people with significantly anagrammed names, flying pets, wordcount validators, dares, and at least one oversharing talk show host.)

Okay, I can explain.

Caution: the following will make no sense to those not steeped in NaNoWriMo lore. But then again, you'd never understand the story anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.

One day, I was reading about the Traveling Shovel of Death and it occurred to me that, even though I'd used it before, I'd never taken up the idea of having an entire novel about the Shovel. About an hour later the core idea of Random was in my head and wouldn't go away.

I like writing serious stories. But I also like the idea of trying to put together a good story and characters using a cracky premise. It's not that unusual - most of my favourite films run on the same base. Sooner or later I figured I'd have to give it a try.

Random was also heavily inspired by the other NaNo meta novel I know of, Sushi's Adventures in Wrimonia. Do yourself a favour and read it.

Special thanks to NaNoWriMo London and NaNoWriMo Brighton for hugs, support, and sleepless nights during 2014. You know who you are.

Rating: Generally family friendly, a few darker scenes and occasional suggestiveness, but nothing naughty going on.


You can read Random at the AO3, or right here, as I get the chapters up.

  1. Bookish Hooligans
  2. Established: 1999
  3. Don't Try This At Home
  4. Aardvarks
  5. Welcome to Foreshadow City
  6. The Duct Tape Chronicles
  7. Not Once More, But Still With Pirates
  8. The Cupcake Affair
  9. I've Been Around
  10. So Many Shades
  11. Try Science
  12. That Damn Spade
  13. All Known Frequencies
  14. Free Shrimp Dinner
  15. Façade
  16. End Paragraph
  17. The Shovelbearer
  18. Fifty Thousand Words of Drivel
  19. Frequent Flier
  20. No Plot, No Problem

Want to contact the author? Email me: kaliumlynx@protonmail.com - or find me at on Dreamwidth or Pillowfort.