I have news! My short story, “Lucky Charm,” has recently been published in Big City Lit!
Please check out “Lucky Charm” here! And check out the other fiction and essays, as well as reviews and poetry!
Early in June I finished the first draft of my novel, Trigger Warning. I started writing it in May 2021 as a memoir, but because of my memory lapses (due to ECT), by June 2021 it became a novel, mainly because I had to somehow fill in the blanks that I couldn’t remember. From there I worked straight through to June 2022.
Much of it was written during NaNoWriMo 2021. I didn’t meet the 50,000-word goal but my main reason for doing it was to get this draft written. And in fact, it needs plenty more words because at this point, it’s probably a novella, and that’s okay according to my writing instructor.
It’s also nothing like the memoir version. For one thing it’s in third person, but also because with fiction writing, I have the freedom to create stuff without them having to resemble how it really happened. Other than her mental illness, the main character, Trina, and I have little in common.
Next step: revisions.
November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. It started in 1999, and is basically a challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November—a first draft of a novel.
I was going to do it in 2008, but I chickened out. The whole idea was really daunting. This year, since I’ve started work on a novel anyway, I’m going to do it. However, I’m not holding myself up to 50,000 words (1,667 a day). I’ll be happy if I write 500 words.
For me, this is to keep me writing and to build up momentum. My novel actually began as a memoir, but I couldn’t remember all of the details of events. So I decided to fictionalize it. I already had the bulk of it written, but little did I know that fictionalizing it would be more work than merely changing all of the pronouns from first-person to third! Fictionalizing gave me a lot of freedom, and I changed a ton of what I’d written so far.
However, after the Beginning Novel Writing class I took through the Iowa Summer Writers Festival last summer ended, I hit a standstill and have been stuck until now. I have a partial outline that’s barely organized. It’s messy, and outlines aren’t my strong suit. This is the first time I’m writing one. I signed up for the Writer’s Digest University’s class, Outlining Your Novel. It has helped me get back on track, and I’m hoping this continues through November.
On the NaNoWriMo forums I noticed that some people believe writing all 50,000 words is a win, and not doing so is a loss. I don’t see it this way. For me it’s a win no matter how much I write.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done it previously?