Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Crazy 50K Stretch

“I’ve made a commitment to NaNoWriMo.”

“You committed to doing what?” My husband had that look on his face where he scrunches his forehead down into his eyes because he’s confused.

 I had to explain. “NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.”

His eyes went back in place but he turned his head, giving me a sort of sideways look. “I thought every month was a writing month for you.”

“Yes, but this month, well actually for the month of November, I’m writing with thousands of other people who are going to hunker down and hammer out 50,000 words in thirty days.”

“50,000 words in thirty days?”

I watched as his eyes rolled up in his head, doing a little mental math. 

“That’s 1667 words a day.” I didn’t have to do the math. I read it online. “Of course there’s Thanksgiving in there.”

“And we may be traveling a couple of those days,” he added.

I hammered the numbers into the computer’s calculator. “Okay, 50,000 words in twenty-seven days is 1852 words per day.”

“And we’re packing and moving.”

“True. Maybe I should round that up to 2000 words a day and give myself a little breathing room.”

“Did you account for Sundays, days we’ll be taking care of grandkids, and don’t you have a book signing in Lexington coming up?”

“Piece of cake. I’ll just aim for 2500 words a day and that should cover any days I can’t write.”

“Does that include your blog?”

“Ha! I got you on that one. My blog is ready for November. It’s the month I dedicated to studying how to write a mystery or suspense novel. 

"I’m calling it ‘Whodunit University.’ 
     I have a lead story for November 5th
     a writing contest,
     a ‘class’ my readers can take on the 12th
     a visiting ‘professor’ teaching on the 19th
     and a fun little piece I’m calling The Final Exam” the day before Thanksgiving.

“I’m impressed,” he said. I could see that. He gave me a hug. “I didn’t know your next novel was going to be a mystery.”

“Uh…it isn’t. I’m just sort of gearing up for the future.”

“Oh, no!”

But it is true. I registered for NaNoWriMo. Though the timing is right to pursue my next project, I actually have ulterior motives. First, “winners” of NaNoWriMo (those meeting their 50K goal) have a chance to purchase Scrivener (software for writers) for 50% off its normal purchase price. I want that.

Second, I want to write something of a romance novel. Don’t roll your eyes. I have a very good reason for this. My other works have been written from a single point of view. I want to stretch myself. A romance novel is generally written from two points of view…the man and woman involved in the story. Hang on….this is leading to the mystery/suspense writing.

You see, the mystery/suspense novels I enjoy, generally have multiple points of view. If I can take this next book to learn two points of view by writing a romance, I’ll be well on my way to being able to write a mystery. Ooooo…

If you are interested in giving a shot at writing that great story you’ve always had in mind to put to paper, it isn’t too late to join NaNoWriMo—just Google it.

But if you want to start by trying your hand a short mystery piece, join me on this blog, A Novel Creation for the month of November. I think mystery writing takes a special touch. I’ve done a bit of reading and exploring and I’m anxious to share “Whodunit University” with you beginning next week.

Don’t keep me in suspense…in the comment section below, share your ideas for ways to improve your craft and stretch yourself as a writer. 

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