That's "National Novel Writing Month," which for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, always happens in November. The idea is to write 50,000 words worth of material--doesn't even matter if it's any good, just something--in the space of thirty days. I did it last year and wound up with my first draft of The Carrion Girl, which turned out much better than I anticipated. It's the only thing that seems to shut down my inner psycho-editor, that part of my writer's brain that screams, "Must fix! Must fix!" at every poorly chosen word, extended metaphor, and purple passage I happen to get down until all I have left is a half-finished trunk novel that's been run so far into the ground that the kind thing would be to put it out of its misery. When you're trying to get published, the first thing you need is a full-length manuscript, even if it's not perfect, because otherwise you have nothing to work with. That's why I do this--to get myself from a mess of half-formed ideas to a full-length manuscript, which I then allow myself to edit to perfection.
My goal for this week was 10,000 words. I made it, but it wasn't easy. I have a story I really like (which I'll synopsize for you shortly), but whereas last year I was knocking out close to three thousand words a day, this year I'm barely scraping one thousand. In my defense, it's been a rough week. Between the house getting ransacked (they took some random things, like my high school ring and some silver dollars, but nothing outstandingly valuable), starting my new job as a legal assistant, trying to deal with various messes caused by the dermatologist's office and my pending switch in health insurance, AND MyChemicalRomance.com releasing a steady stream of epic, cheesy, awesome, ridiculous pre-album-release goodies that I WANT RIGHT NOW but can't have because I never buy anything for myself between Halloween and Christmas, I've been a bit preoccupied. (To be fair, some of the MCR stuff is free downloads, which rules, but still--distractions. Takes away from the writing bit, you understand.)
My NaNo story, at least what I've done with it so far, is shaping up thusly: Roughly five hundred years (give or take) into the future, Earth has been abandoned, and the human population has spread out across the galaxy, making friends with some of the alien species on other worlds. My protagonist, Paul Reid, is a "Pan Dimensional Anomaly Neutralizer," the best in the galaxy, and his team gets called everywhere to take care of pan dimensional anomalies wherever they occur. A "pan dimensional anomaly," by the way, is a ghost. The popular theory is that ghosts are not, as was previously thought, the spirits of the dead come back to torment the living, but small pieces of time folding in on itself which appear as people who have lived in the same place previously, and Paul's job is to mend the rip in the time-space continuum that causes these loops. However, when Paul investigates this phenomenon further he discovers the real reason for the time ghosts, and this knowledge might cost him his life--along with the life of his wife and child.
Inevitably some things change in the transition from idea to manuscript, but that's the basic gist of it. I'm working on making it make more sense. (Another job for the editing process.) My tentative title is "The Time Ghost." We'll see if it sticks.