That’s “thirty days and nights of literary abandon!” as self-described on the National Novel Writing Month website. (www.nanowrimo.org) As an experienced participant of several years, I can think of a few other things that will be abandoned in many Wrimers’ abodes: home cooked meals, clean laundry, clean anything.
Students might abandon homework and studying. (I could name names.) Teachers might abandon lesson plans and grading. After all, to qualify as a winner, we have to write a 50,000 word novel by November 30—not necessarily a good novel, just so long as it’s 50,000 words. And what do we win?
A certificate that we have to print out ourselves with our own ink on our own paper.
I have signed up. With the WCA marking period ending Tuesday, I’m catching up on grading and entering grades this weekend. Hopefully I will be ready to write 1,666.666666 words a day for 30 days. Or I could round up to 1,667 and get rid of all those demonic looking sixes. I’m not writing a horror story.
I thought I might entertain (or bore) you with a list of my previous attempts and sole success.
Meatloaf for Three burned out at 5,780 words. It was about a pastor whose wife left him and their daughters. He in turn quits the ministry and opens a diner. Not as interesting as I had imagined, especially to the author.
Death by Pumpkin Cheesecake, wherein a dead body is found in the church kitchen, met its demise by word 1,642, none of which I can remember writing as I look at the Word document.
The Case of the Lethal Lunch was closed at word 3,073 when I realized I didn’t really care who was poisoning the meatloaf in the cafeteria at a small private academy. By now I realize I am not a mystery writer.
Thirty Days Hath September, featuring schoolteacher Daisy Barnes filling her new post at a boarding school at the Jersey shore, achieved 24,601 words, and some post Nano editing. I have not permanently abandoned you, Daisy. I will return.
The Gadarene’s Tunic wrapped at 5,342 words, possibly the best I have ever written. (It’s so good, even I cry when I read it.) It tells the story of the man the Gospel writers called Legion. I started with his childhood, telling how the demons possessed him, and got only slightly past the Gospel accounts. I have not permanently abandoned Tertios, either.
Bride Price surpassed 50,000; the exact number of words changes as I edit and revise it. Intensive critique at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference last June both improved the manuscript and also let me know I was on the right track. I wrote Bride Price because I think everybody misunderstands King David’s first wife and gives her a bad rap. Everybody except me, that is. Yes, I know books about Michal are out there. My book about Meechal is edgier. Maybe too edgy for a Christian publisher. We’ll see. (I hope.)
And that brings me to Prisoner in the Palace, which will continue where Bride Price ended, Meechal being reclaimed from her second husband by her first husband.
Word count is at zero until Tuesday, November 1. I will not be starting at midnight like Linda, a true Nano warrior. I have to be awake to give a cumulative vocabulary test at 8:30 a.m.