NaNoWriMoan: Updates

nano_09_red_participant_120x90I am happy to report that as of today, I have 2,274 words. Yes, out of 50,000. Yes, I realize that’s really only a tad over what should be my daily goal. Yes, I said I was happy. Sheesh!

I’m happy because even though my writing muscles have atrophied somewhat, I am pleased to see they still work. My sole reason for doing this was to start writing again. I haven’t attempted anything more than a few paragraphs in about four years, so 2,274 words is a terrific start. It’s been much easier than I hoped, when I have been able to sit down to work on this project, to be carried away by the story, and I’m doing a good job of not revising myself too much as I go.

Over the top with the pep talk, the happy-happy joy-joy? Okay. Let’s get serious.

I’ve had this idea for about five years. Very simply, it revolves around a missing girl, and the way her disappearance affects the people in the town. Problem: any number of really well-written novels based on this very idea already exist (and the ones I’ve read are watching over my shoulder). But it’s what I have at the moment, and the idea continues to plague me, no matter how I try to move on to anything else. So, in addition to getting my writing muscles back in shape, I’m hoping I can exorcise this idea and maybe get on to something else.

I started with this idea as a short story, but I very consciously decided that even though I am using at least one of the characters from that story, I am not using any of the previous material. Everything’s from scratch. What surprised me, though, when I sat down to write was that instead of sort of recreating from memory what used to be there on the page (I have a tendency to write the same thing over and over, which might be one reason I never get anywhere), all of the sudden I was there, in a new place, with the missing girl. Before, she was mostly all background–an image on a security video, a picture on a poster or flier announcing her disappearance, a school picture flashed on the evening news–but now she’s here in my draft, flesh and blood (her name is Melissa, by the way) and there are things going on I never suspected.

And now her captor, Eddie, is also part of the story, also more than an image on a security video, and I am not sure what to do with him. I get the feeling he’s not all bad, that he’s confused. I know, I know…that sounds strange. Anyone who carries off a twelve-year-old girl must be bad, right? Oh boy. Looks like that’s part of what I have to find out about this particular story. It’ll have to wait a bit, though, because I’ve started a chapter with someone else now. The weekend looks promising!

P.S. I’d like to give a special “Welcome” to NaNoWriMo participants visiting from Andrea’s site. I am definitely inspired by everyone’s progress!

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4 comments

  1. Congrats! I think it’s great that you’ve started writing again. Winning the NaNo word count isn’t as important as just writing and having fun.

    Also, I think your story idea sounds very interesting. i have never read a book about a missing girl…okay, I have read one. But it is completely different from what you’ve described. Good luck with it.

  2. Congratulations on flexing those writing muscles! The first time I did NaNoWriMo, I was amazed at the way my story continued to evolve as I continued writing. Having never written more than a blog post, I had no idea what to expect from trying to write a novel. But the act of writing seemed to spawn more writing, so the plot and characters kept growing almost magically and out of my control sometimes. It was a great experience!

    Good luck with your novel in progress!

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