“NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul.” That’s the forum on the National Novel Writing Month’s website for people whose novels aren’t exactly going according to plan. This month, I pounded out 50,100 words to tell a spooky supernatural story of a ballerina’s journey of self-discovery while on the run, which I’m calling Lone Cypress. It went anything but according to plan, but I think I like it that way. I think what I discovered during the month of November is that the best laid plans aren’t good enough.
My breezy socialite best friend character found herself in a desperate mess, my dream sequence took on an almost steam punk ghost story quality, my chase scene through the fog of Half Moon Bay ballooned into an epic suspenseful chapter, and instead of walking away at the end like we planned, my protagonist decided to stay? We’ll see, protagonist. We’ll see. There’s still a final draft to be fought over.
Some days, okay most days, the expected 1667-word count had me obsessively checking my word count every 100 words, which in case you didn’t guess it is not great for your creative process. But with this novel down on paper, I am finishing out 2012 with a nearly publishable/published novel that might get one more edit, a second novel rough draft written in July, a short story collection of supernatural tales pounded out in just one week before NaNoWriMo, and this strange thing I wrote in November. Suffice it to say, 2013 will be a year for polishing up my word craft, but it should be exciting, as I hopefully start getting these things moving out to agents, publishers, or self-publishing them and starting my career for reals. Of course if you’re game, I’ll take you along for the ride.