This year I participated in National November Writer’s Month for the first time. The goal was to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and November 30th. That’s 1,667 words each day. I didn’t know if I could do it or not, but now I’m happy to announce that at 8:00AM this morning, I wrote one last scene that brought me over the 50,000 word mark!
My novel, “Cause of Death” is about two Detectives – Annie Avants and Tom Weston – who work out of the Robbery/Homicide Division of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. They have a serial killer on the loose in the south end of the County whose favorite Cause of Death seems to be 13 black widow spider bites. The detectives are truly puzzled and, when a second victim turns up, fear that a serial killer will panic their County.
My book isn’t even close to completion. I’d say I’m about half-way there, but I learned a lot about myself during this month of November. I can commit to writing a certain amount of words each day and persevere; I do best with a good plot and a tight timeline to keep me organized; I printed off day planner sheets to help me schedule each characters time flow every day in order to keep things straight; and I made a lot of soup to keep in my freezer to keep me and my husband going. Also, I couldn’t have done it without Scrivener software which made changing scenes around and plotting so much easier.
So, what now? I’m looking forward to Camp NaNoWriMo in June and August. I already have ideas for several more books featuring these characters whom I’ve come to know so well. I’d like to thank Werner at www.1000words-a-day.com for his article on How to Plot a Mystery Novel, which was of tremendous help in getting me started. Also, Nick Thacker, at www.livehacked.com, whose free writing course led me to Dwight V. Swain’s “Techniques of the Selling Writer” which taught me so much! Then, I discovered Holly Lisle’s website, www.howtothinksideways.com, and gained more training through her wonderful books, “Mugging the Muse”, “Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course”, and “Create a Character Clinic” which were invaluable aids when I didn’t know what to do next. I will be buying more of her books as this book progresses.
My goal now is to write 1,000 words a day, without fail or excuse, and finish “Cause of Death” so I can move on to the next book!