I’m not sure how many people follow Nano, or even know what it is. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it is exactly what it says. several hundred thousand writers start a new novel on November 1, and by writing 1600 words a day, end up with a 50,000 word novel by November 30. Sounds nuts — I know. But I participated last year, and I am doing so this year.
The funny thing is, I had an entire story plotted out in my head, and I wrote over 7,000 words, before I suddenly came up with an idea for a kids’ mystery novel. I set the other aside and started pounding the keys on the second idea yesterday. I’ve made up for two days already, which shows that I can catch up if I want to. And I want to. Very much.
Last year, I wrote an autobiography — the easiest book to write, because all of the material already exists in the writer’s head. This year, my intention was to write a novel based on my mother’s life. After all, I just had six weeks to get to know her. However, when the time came to weave some twists into the plot, I got very self-conscious — the line between writing a biography and writing a fiction depiction based on someone’s life is a fine line, indeed. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to attribute actions to my protagonist that were not part of my mother’s life and her ethical standard. Finally, when i thought i was going to have to drop the whole thing, this other story popped into my head. I saved everything I had written — that will be a good start to a biography about Mom.
So Mom, I won’t be finishing a draft of your story this month, but I feel like the bones of your story are there in my first few vignettes. I hope you understand. To the rest of you: I may not post on the blog more than every couple of days this month, but I am certainly still writing. Wish me luck!