Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beware the Shovel…

… The Traveling Shovel of Death!

This shovel travels around the NaNoWriMo forums, invading people’s novels. Killing innocent characters (and some not so innocent). Demons, zombies, serial killer victims, suicide. Does someone need to die? Use the shovel. It may be disguised as a writing challenge to work the TSOD into your novel, but once you are aware of the shovel, it will invade whether you plan it or not.

I first heard of the shovel from Liana. There is even a Facebook group for the TSOD.

Has the shovel visited one of your novels?

This year, a shovel may just become my gladiator’s weapon-of-choice against the minotaurs.

Last year the shovel killed off a courtesan in RACE TO 100 DEATHS:


The three elves looked up as a lantern shone on them. The yellow light lit Cillia's horrified face as well as the carnage.

Sable, digging a fresh grave. Daon drinking blood from the corpse of her friend. And Tilara covered in blood.

"What have you done?" She rushed over and pushed Daon away. "Mellanae!" She looked at Daon, blood still on his lips. "She's dead! And you... you drink her blood?? Tilara?"

"She was injured. It was an accident. Yes, we took advantage of her death..."

Cillia stumbled. "You as well? Are all elves blood drinkers?"

Sable reached toward her. "We have no choice. You have to understand."

Cillia shook her head. "No. No. Out. Get out. Before I call the guard."

Sable grabbed her arm. She screamed. "Stay away from me!"

Sable's face hardened. A guttaral roar exploded from him as the shovel came up. He hit her in the head. She fell, nose and forehead bleeding. The lantern rolled to the side. He hit her again. Sobs shook him as he turned back to the grave. Tilara stood in shock as he began to widen the hole.

"You killed her. We could have left as she asked. She was our friend. You went too far."

Sable emphasized each word with a heave of the bloody shovel. "No. Choice. Monsters."

Daon grabbed Tilara's arm. "We have to get out of here. Now!"

The rose bushes had caught fire. Tilara considered leaving Sable. Perhaps the fire would kill him where a knife could not. But they were in this together. She grabbed his face, forcing him to look at her. "I know you cared. It's over now. Time to move on."


  1. Ha! I hadn't heard of the shovel! What a funny idea. Great, now it's going to creep into my Nano novel. Nooo!

    Oh, I almost forgot why I stopped by! you won my contest for a Nano beta read, so now you just HAVE to finish The Minotaur Staff! I'm excited to read it when you're done!

  2. Perfect timing to win that beta read! Thanks so much. I was just wondering if it was worth trying to catch up when I'm so far behind. Now I have to finish!

  3. Definitely! Please do finish! I'll check back with you in December, but if it takes a little longer, I totally understand. Hey, I'm only 10,000 words into my own Nano novel! :)