Friday, November 2, 2007

Blogging My Novel: Week 1

In honour of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, I am going to devote one blog a week to my middle grade novel. I figure there is nothing like the risk of public ridicule to keep my right pinkie in check.

My novel celebrated it's first birthday this past Monday. A year ago, during what was supposed to be a short story weekend workshop, I produced a sketchy first draft of what I was afraid to call novel. (Let's face it--I still roll my eyes when I say the word.) Granted, three days on the Mediterranean sans husband and kids was bound to be prolific, but 12 characters, 10 partially written scenes, and almost 3000 words was far more than I'd ever anticipated.

Determined to give 'novelling' a chance, I subjected myself to my own version of NaNoWriMo last February. I wrote 19 days that month, about an hour each day, with an average daily word count of just under 900. For moral support, I included my invaluable writers' group, the Birkenstocks, in my plan, promising them multiple quarts of imported Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream when I'd finished. 17,000 words later we gorged on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cherry Garcia, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream until our teeth ached. I'd done it--I'd written a novel.

Now what?

As advised by Chris Baty, author of No Plot, No Problem and founder of NaNoWriMo, I let it sit. A month later, I picked it up and read it.

No word of a lie--it was a disaster. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

So now I'm trying to make something from the wreckage and it's not going so well. Here's hoping an electronic line in the sand will get me to the finish line:

Draft 3 by January 1, 2008 or bust!

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