There is no time like the present to start working on your literary masterpiece. If you've ever wanted to write your novel, National Novel Writing Month is the time to do it. You'll find support and encouragement, and even better, you'll be developing the habits it takes to be a successful author. Today is November 1st: Are you ready?
NaNoWriMo 2016 Starts Today
For writers wanting to work on their latest project and their writing habits, one of the best challenges has begun. National Novel Writing Month runs the entire month of November.
Plotting and Planning
I started in mid-October
I decided I would participate in NaNoWriMo 2016 for a variety of reasons. The usual ones, or the more specific one: I have a story to tell.
I've been working on a Fantasy Romance story about a witch and a king and how they lay the foundations of the world as we know it. Mixed in with a little magic and even some sci-fi, I've been working on this story for some time. I've even published parts 1 and 2 as ebooks on Amazon. (They're under a pen name.) My plan is for seven or eight more parts, all written as short stories.
But mid-way through my planning stages and old story popped into my head. I jotted down a few sentences and tried to stay focused on the fantasy story. Every few sentences something else about the old story would pop up and I'd write it down. I finished both outlines that evening.
That night I dreamed about the old idea and the fantasy story was officially put on hold.
The Witch's King Parts 1 & 2
The beginnings of my story
|The Witch's King: Part Two: Sorcery|
And epic fantasy romance told in short chronicals. Learn the tale of the Witch and her King whose love must endure endless sacrafice in order for the world to survive.
|The Witch's King: Part One: Separation|
An epic love story of soul mates torn apart for the greater good of their people. Told in bite sized chronicles, this story follows along stories of ancient times, offering a tw...
I Admit It.
I've been working on the book before the starting bell.
All of it has been research and outlining and doing the beats, filling in the outline here and there.
The story is historical fiction. I've decided to set my story in Sacramento, California, where I grew up, beginning in the early 1900's when the city was growing.
I've been emersed in the history of the birth of a city, the people and the things they faced - or at least the things that were written about.
As I read through the old newspapers and websites, I can't help but yearn to know the stories that were not told, the ones about the unknowns - the ones about the people who lived outside of the circles of people who made the papers.
On one hand, it will be so easy to weave my tale into the pages of the city's history.
On the other, I can see how trying to keep my story connected to actual places and events can constrict the story.
A Short Synopsis
During my month of building habits and muscles, I would like to share bits of my story with my friends here on Wizzley and anyone else who ventures by.
My story is, like I said, Historical Fiction, about an immigrant family who comes from Hungary to Indiana and made their way west to settle in Sacramento, California in the early 1900's.
Okay, that sounds extremely boring. Let me spice it up a little.
The oldest son comes to America as an explorer and marries a young Indian princess. They settle in Indiana, and he sends for his parents and younger brother.
When his parents and brother arrive, they are not happy with the oldest son's choice of wife. Her brown skin and heathen ways offend his parents and their beliefs. Not to mention his two half-breed children.
Her life and that of her children, grandchildren all the way to her great-great-granddaughter would grow up living in a discriminating world that begins in their own home.
Forward to the great and great-great-granddaughter (I know, this is getting confusing, but stay with me). The youngest of the line must now learn the dirty secrets of her families past in order to save her mother from a future in prison.
Yeah, I'm going to have to work on this a bit. As the story gets filled in, I know it will be easier.
But basically, it's about how beliefs - be they religious, racial, national, etc., - are shared from one generation to the next, around the family table and how they effect more than we can ever realize.
Here's a Snippet
At this moment, I'm still figuring out my characters names. In this excerpt, one character is noted as TKMother. (It makes it easier to search when I'm ready to name her.)
“Actually,” Sydney looked down. She held out one slender hand and ran her fingers over her knuckles. The multitude of precious stones from the layers of rings and bracelets she wore glistened under the single florescent light hanging above the table.
TKMother noticed her lower lip quiver and how she so delicately sucked in a deep breath it was almost silent. Almost. What ever this woman’s reason or reasons for being here tonight, TKMother knew they were not easy demons to face.
“Maybe this isn’t the place to discuss such things,” it was not a question. Sydney looked up from the jewels on her fingers. “You’ll be released from here this evening. I would like you to come directly to my home. I can arrange to have your things brought over. I don’t believe it would be safe for you to stay anywhere else.”
TKMother raised her eyebrows, shocked by the woman’s offer. “How can I be released? Last I was told it would be cold day in hell before I’d see the other side of these walls.”
“Then I’ll have them bring over a coat.”
The Goal of NaNoWriMo
The goal of this annual exercise is to write 50,000 words, which technically make it a novel, in a month.
I know this story will be more than 50k words, there's so much of it to tell.
To all my fellow writers, who are ready to take the plunge, I invite you to join me on NaNoWriMo. Look me up, I'm Cowgirlheart. Add me to your buddy list. (Thanks!)
Ultimately, my goal with this story is to have it completed - as in editing, DONE - and ready to self-publish or shop around to traditional publishers by early spring of 2017.
I'm keeping a writing log (# of words written per day) on my website in an effort to hold myself publically accountable for writing every day. In addition to the 1,677 words it takes daily to reach 50k in a month, I'll be continuing to write on my blog, content for two clients and articles for Wizzley.
Really, the most important part about NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to build the habit of writing daily.