My previous Nanowrimo novels

You might remember that besides game design as a hobby, I’ve also taken part in various National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) events, wherein the goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November (averging 1,667 words a day).
I started these in 2009 with a few friends, and we competed through the various years. I thought I’d share my completed stories. In 2011 I tried to write a series of Dinosaur Cowboys short stories, which have been posted here before, but unfortunately didn’t complete the 50,000 goal. And after 2012 I took a break.
So anyway if you want to check out various stories in various genres, download the PDFs and let me know what you think…

Anubis Rising – 2009 – 53,048 words
A modern story about an old man in a small town which is getting invaded by the ancient Egyptian god Anubis. Think of it as a mix of Vanishing Point, The Mummy, and Red Dawn.
2009 Nanowrimo: Anubis Rising

Highway Cowboys – 2010 – 50,017 words
My fan fiction piece of the Steve Jackson game Car Wars. The story chronicles three unique characters across America. Sunny, Sassy, and Pike (yeah, similar to Preacher Pike you see in battle reports here).
2010 Nanowrimo: Highway Cowboys

Far From Home – 2012 – 50,988 words
This story is tied with Anubis Rising for my favorite, and one I’d love to develop further (since it’s word complete, but not a complete story arc).
The story is set in a sci-fi universe where mankind achieved faster-than-light travel and communication, expanded through the universe, then lost the technology. Now years and years later Earth is ready to return to their lost colonies, which have vastly deviated to the point that most inhabitants aren’t even called Human anymore. Basically the “Sol” empire rediscovering their old “Terran” empire. I love the background and planet hopping so much that I’d consider designing an RPG around it, in fact.
2012 Nanowrimo: Far From Home

Short Story #3: Heart of a Hunter

The Ankylosaurus lumbered up the hill, dull senses alerting it of carrion and instincts ringing in hurried alarm. Cresting the knoll revealed a pile of torn and half digested pieces of a herd of Stygimoloch s. Their thick skulls and rigid back bones had been cracked and marred by long teeth.
Defensively raising it’s thick tail ending in a mace of bone, the Ankylosaurus sniffed the perimeter of the massacre. Dead jungle surrounded the empty hilltop, ringing the summit like a fence. Smaller scavengers poked their heads from the brush, their rumbling stomachs having drawn them to the scene.
Before it’s tiny brain could process the attack a Ceratosaurus lunged from the jungle, scattering the hungry observers. It’s thickly armored shell resisted the powerful bite, but the weight of the Ceratosaurus bore it to the ground. Squealing and heaving to the side the Ankylosaurus righted itself before the killing blow fell.
The element of surprise lost, the Ceratosaurus circled his wary prey. The dinosaur was similar in size to a Tyrannosaurus but crested with two prongs of bone. Beady eyes glimmered under a thick brow and fresh Stygimoloch blood soaked his maw. His name was Kerash’Sharrak, and even with a full stomach he was interested in the Ankylosaurus simply for the challenge.
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Short Story #2: A Laborer’s Life

Coffan De’Lashan had a royal sounding name, but a decidedly un-royal job. He worked for thirteen hours a day in Wheat Farm #8.
“I’m going to die here,” he thought bitterly as he washed the rich peat from his hands. “Right here on Wheat Farm #8. Wearing these ridiculous fatigues and surrounded by cocoa colored dirt.”
A soft voice bespoke from the nearby speaker, “Unit 334 wash time has ended, Unit 334.”
Flicking specks of water from his hands Coffan stood to his full, towering height. His back was sore from crouching in the field all day, but he still managed a shrug at his brother Hunaven. The man nodded back and they rejoined the line of laborers from Unit 334.

Of course Coffan and his brother had once profited from the sweat of the lower class laborers. But that was five years ago, and after their father failed to capture a rampaging Allosaurus the value of the De’Lashan name had plummeted. Once they were spoken quite highly of at social gatherings like the fashionable howdah tea parties.
Unfortunately the Allosaurus had gone on to kill three of the York’le’Fams before it was brought down by the guards. And as much weight as the De’Lashan name held, the York’le’Fams had a finger on every pulse in Haven.
The elder De’Lashan had been banished to The Forbidden Lands outside The Wall and presumably met a grisly fate at the claws of a hungry carnivore. Without a patriarch to rule the house the three sons were cast to the lower class. Their youngest brother Remelar had died in a street brawl brought on by mining riots. To survive Coffan and Hunaven had signed up for farming duties. They had indeed survived, although Coffan was the more anguished of the pair for he could remember the luxuries Neotechnoist life had to offer.
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Short Story #1: Hot Item

This is the first short story I wrote for Nanowrimo. I haven’t edited it, re-read it, or formatted it since you don’t really do that kind of thing until the end. Hopefully it’s enjoyable in the raw form below though!

His dinosaur snorted in interest at the sound of spurs jingling. Groggily the dusty cowboy tipped his hat back to look at the three hard faced men now surrounding him.
Mimicking his mount’s snort Dallas asked, “Found me, eh?”
“You knew we would, t’way you made off wit’ da’ bosses goods.” The largest of the bounty hunters outstretched a gloved hand, palm up. His eyes nervously glanced at the cowboy’s brace of pistols. “Hand ‘er over and there won’t be any trouble.”
Tension charged the air. A slight breeze ruffled the saddlebags slung over the nearby dinosaur. Fingers hovered expectantly over triggers.
In one fluid motion Dallas stood up and dusted himself off. The two silent bounty hunters jumped back half a foot in surprise and nearly unloaded blasts of plasma into his body. Meanwhile the big bounty hunter stood still as a stone, his hand still open. “Last chance, compadre.” His face had dropped the smirk.
“Look fellers,” Dallas began, glancing over at his mount and lightly tapping his foot. The Parasaurolophus perked up, the long crest atop it’s head almost eight feet above the ground as it looked up. “I’d love ta’ help you, goodness knows, but here’s the thing,” He slipped both hands to his belt and swayed back on his heels, “My dino ate the stuff you’re after.”
One of the bounty hunters turned to scoff at his buddy, and in that moment Dallas’ light foot tapping turned into a stomp. The trained Parasaurolophus instantly spun and kicked out with powerful hind legs, smashing the furthest man to the ground.
Fast as lightning Dallas snapped his hands from the belt buckle to the butts of his two laser pistols. The deadly weapons swung up in a glittering arc and he pumped a charge from each into the remaining pair of bounty hunters. Both men dropped in a heap and the smell of charred flesh filled the air.
“Boy oh boy,” he mulled, spinning the pistols back into their holsters, “that makes seven this week.”
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Gearing up for Fiction

Dedicated readers might remember that back in 2009 I had the spark of inspiration to make something with dinosaurs and cowboys in it. That spark was thanks to National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), which is a great initiative where you try to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s 1,667 words a day. The genre and format can be anything, although normally a book is preferred.

So with November almost here I thought what better topic than Dinosaur Cowboys? But instead of one long winded story I’m going to create various fictional short stories that help flesh out the background and history of the game. I’ll be uploading the fresh-off-the-presses (aka full of typos and grammatical errors) short stories as I go once November is here, so check back to the Fiction category often.

Anyways for now I have a few ideas for short stories, but some plot ideas, characters, or locations would be a great help:

  • Neotechnoist life inside The Wall and escaping into the wastes
  • Exploring the sunken ruins of San Francisco on the coast
  • Escorting a dinosaur caravan and defending it against bandits
  • Young Savage trying to hunt a Sabertooth Cat

I could basically keep typing story ideas forever because there is so much to do with the world. I think this initiative will be fun (because Nanowrimo always is, even if it’s a bunch of effort too!) and will help flesh out the background and give players and fans a better idea for their own campaigns or standalone games.

PS: Totally missed my self imposed October 10th deadline for releasing v1.0. Turns out Thanksgiving weekend is more about socializing instead of last minute playtesting. Look for v1.0 before November though, since I want to be able to focus on writing fiction not rules for that month.