Friday, October 26, 2012
NaNoWriMo 2012: Will You? Will I?
At that precise second, and not one second sooner, the writing frenzy begins. Will you . . . will I . . . write unedited 50,000 words before the clock strikes 11:59:59 p.m. on Friday, November 30th?
I've participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month five times with varying degrees of success.
2003: A multi-generational saga centered around one house and my mom's lengthy genealogy, all in just over 50,000 words, this story is a choppy mess. I dream of someday revising this project into a set of short stories.
2005: The story of my heart, this project is about a young woman who regains her family's ancestral home (actually, the same house as in my multi-generational saga) only to realize that her grandparents' spiritual legacy was of more value than their material one.
I struggled to revise it, only to have the main character refuse to speak to me. About a year ago, I changed her name, changed the title, and entered the first few pages in the My Book Therapy Frasier Contest where it placed as a Bronze Medalist. With a more cooperative main character, I plan more revisions to this story. Perhaps someday it will find its way to the bookstores.
2008: Years ago, I learned that POW camps were set up in Florida and other states during War World II to imprison captured Germans. What kind of woman, I wondered, would help a German prisoner escape from one of those camps. So I tried to find out during this year's NaNoWriMo.
With revised openings of this manuscript, I won the Writer of the Year and Best Novel awards at the Florida Christian Fiction Conference in 2009. Thanks to When Sparrow Falls, I signed with my agent. Polished but unpublished, I haven't given up hope for it yet.
2009: Friends who read the complete (and completely revised) manuscript of When Sparrow Falls begged for a sequel. "Can't happen," I said. "Everybody died." (Do you think that's why editors aren't interested? Hmm!)
In an aha! moment, the proverbial lightbulb blinked above my head. A secondary Sparrow character, a widowed British officer, became the male protagonist of a World War II love story, Where Treasure Hides, this year's NaNoWriMo project.
The revised manuscript won the 2011 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest in the Historical Fiction category and will be released as an ebook from Tyndale House in 2013.
2010: Wanting to do something a little different, I decided to write my 50,000 unedited NaNoWriMo words by hand. But I didn't get very far. Family emergencies and hospitalizations derailed my plans. This was the first time I signed up for NaNo and didn't win a completion certificate.
2012: So what about this year? Unlike Sparrow, Treasure cries out for a sequel, and thankfully my publisher is interested in seeing a proposal.
So with quivering trepidation and a stockpile of snacks, I'm saying yes once again to NaNoWriMo frenzy.
If you're joining me on this crazy endeavor, just sign up at the NaNoWriMo site, then please become my Writing Buddy. My user name is jdazzlin.