Sunday, November 30, 2008

National Novel Continuation Month

November is almost over; just about six hours to go here on the East Coast. And with the end of November arrives the close of National Novel Writing Month. Though I have topped 15,000 words, it is not physically possible for me to get to 50,000 today unless I were to steal words from other documents and paste them into my work in progress. That's not going to happen. I respect myself and my fellow writers too much to do that.

But that doesn't mean I'll stop writing what I have begun. I'm still getting to know the characters in my new novel, Blood Falls. They're interesting and I'm sure there's a lot more complexity to them than has been shown so far. But that's what you learn when you first meet people. I know something about my main character's family, how her parents died, the awful disease her sister has, the brother who seems about as deep as the condensation on a bottle of beer. I met people I didn't know about, like the niece of my main character, who strikes me as smart and precocious and potentially uplifting as this family's story progresses.

I've also gotten to know a couple fellow writers better. For that I am most thankful. I feel like I've been welcomed into a community of writers and I've already learned a lot from them; I suspect that more will come. I hope I've helped at least as many people as have helped me.

But tomorrow, despite the board meeting I must attend and the mountains of work I must tend to, begins National Novel Continuation Month(s). Most likely, it'll extend into the new year. It may also overlap with the beginning of Local Life-Interrupted-by-Babies Lifetime, but I'm ok with that too. Because they will be a big part of my writing life for years to come. Indeed, I expect them to garnish a huge chunk of my salary over the next 20-25 years.

So, off I go to live the life of yet another aspiring novelist -- albeit, one with a novel to show for it and another on the way and dozens of workable ideas to pursue after that. I'll probably reach about 16,000 words on this year's Nano. I strongly suspect I'll start something else next year, but this year's word count may end up as a high-water mark for a while, unless I start fictionalizing what my kids do. Lord knows what tomorrow brings.

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