I fully admit that I was nervous about this year’s NaNoWriMo. Working part time to write content, keeping the cobwebs off this blog, raising and loving a squirmy little baby, running a household…My plate was already full before I crammed writing a novel in between the green beans and rice.
Thankfully, though, it’s going really well so far. I’ve written 3,777 words, and I’m not worrying about refining and perfecting as I go. Some of my sentences are terrific, some of them are merely passable.
What I’ve learned, however, is that you can spend a lifetime editing but the creation process itself should be a simple opening of a lever to let the ideas come out. Spending too much time fixing and tweaking stifles the ideas, and then you end up with writer’s block and an unfinished, albeit promising story.
My story this year is about two people, a sheltered female recent college graduate and Iraqi-born Oxford-educated man, who meet while climbing Petra and take a photo together. The woman goes on to become an innocuous housewife, but the man has been a double agent for the US government for years, providing them with intelligence on the plans and machinations of Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda cottons on to the fact that the guy’s a spy, and search his apartment. They find the photo of him standing with the woman, and assume she’s involved somehow. They kidnap her with the intention of torturing information out of her, and it’s the man’s job to rescue her.
Mistaken identity! Suspense! Possibly an In-N-Out burger!
The thing I truly adore most about NaNoWriMo is meeting and learning more about my characters. I was writing my male protagonist’s back story today, and I was surprised to meet him. He just kind of unfurled his story for me, and I was learning right alongside my female protagonist.
Ask me how I’m doing in about two weeks, when I’m mired in the doldrums of the middle pages and wondering what in the heck I’m doing with my life, but for now things are going well.
Fellow novelers: How are you doing? How can I encourage you? Want me to do a soft-shoe rendition of Hello, Dolly? I so will if it’ll make you smile.
Non-fellow novelers: How’s it going in general for you? Looking forward to Thanksgiving? Seen any good movies lately?