Last year was my first year to participate in NaNoWriMo. For those who haven’t heard of this, it is National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a whole rough draft of a novel (50,000 words) in one month. Then you spend the next few months or a year revising the novel and submit for publication. Many novels have come out of this. Published and previously unpublished authors participate. Erin Morgenstern was an undiscovered writer who wrote Night Circus during NaNo. It contains phenomenal prose! She weaves an amazing tale with mysterious magic. A friend loaned me the book. I read for awhile but school got super busy and I had to give the book back before I forgot who it belonged to and it got buried under piles of work. I’m sad to say I’ve never gone back to finish it. I recommend it because she writes so skillfully.
If you are curious, here is a link to those books:
Brandon Sanderson usually participates. I follow him on twitter and see his posts saying he wrote 5,000 words that day. Then I look at the measly 500 I wrote, which until that moment, I had been proud of. Then I am happy, because that means he is 5,000 words closer to publishing his next Stormlight series books! I also remind myself that he is a professional author while I am a working mom and wife who is lucky to eke out an hour of writing time each day. He has a family and responsibilities, but also many hours dedicated to writing. With that in consideration, I don’t feel so bad.
One of the many reasons I participate in NaNoWriMo is the goal setting. As I said, I don’t have much time to write so this is a month to make a concerted effort to eek out a little extra time to write. My sweet husband makes an effort to enable me to do this to because he knows this is a finite time to focus on my writing. He helps distract my son as I work on my writing and does a million other tiny and large acts to help me eek out this time.
Another reason I participate is the comradery. Last year I met so many delightful people not only on the NaNoWriMo website forums but also on Twitter through the #NaNoWriMo hashtag. It motivates me to see others writing their stories and hear about them going through experiences similar to my own. My twitter handle is @marykherrera which is my real name since I didn’t have my pen name, Kathryn Fletcher, picked out yet. One day I’ll create a twitter account for my KF name. Since last year, I’ve joined Instagram under Fletchers.quill and I hope to meet many more NaNo friend on there this year.
What is my novel project? I’m glad you asked!
It is about elemental magic users I’ve named the Faer. The 4 types are called Terrafaer (earth), Aquafaer (water), Aerifaer (air), and Ignisfaer (fire). At the command of their goddess, they are pacifists. An accident happens and the Faer are blamed. This causes distrust and they are persecuted relentlessly. Lilliana and Vera, a mother daughter team, are seamstresses for the nobility. They must keep their Aerifaer abilities hidden or risk persecution themselves.
King Garrett is new to the throne and young. He wants to be a good king but is led astray by his best and perhaps only true friend. Together they delve into trouble they might not be able to get out of alive. King Garrett spirals out of control into darkness.
Something dark and dangerous begins killing the Faer. Lilliana and Vera with the other Faer must find a way to escape this new devilry or face extinction. Can they do this while keeping to their faith or will they abandon their faith to survive?
That story is what I’ve spent the last year writing! As of this moment I have 66,500 words of it written. I estimate it will be about 90,000 words long. During revision I will cut quite a bit of the beginning part (10k) that I wrote during NaNo last year. I don’t feel it was a waste of time because I needed to write it to firm up in my own mind what this world looks like, the rules of the magic systems, the character needed to tell me who they were, all of it was vital, that I know. Words written are never wasted. They are part of the learning experience. Some of it might even get cannibalized to be woven into a later part of the story. I say I want to finish the draft this month but if you do the math, I’ve got a long way to go yet, so I may not make it but at least I’ll be 15k words closer!
I don’t know that I will have time to write another book review in November but I may. I began reading Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Both are delightful so far! I should be finishing those two soon, as well as The Red Queen. I’ll post a little something about my progress on NaNoWriMo if you are interested in hearing about it. Let me know!
My friends, I look forward to this month of achieving lots of goals, frantic writing, discovering new friendships, and of taking this journey with my fellow NaNoWriMo friends. May the words be ever in your mind and on your fingertips!