“Plot is a literary convention. Story is a force of nature.”
Teresa Nielsen Hayden

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

NaNoWriMo 2009: Off To A Good Start
Thu 2009-11-05 07:03:40 (in context)
  • 6,733 words (if poetry, lines) long

Those with an eye on the calendar may have noticed that it's November. Yes, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again. Yes, I am a Municipal Liaison for Boulder again. You can buddy me at Nanowrimo.org via my handle "vortexae" if you like.

It's been going well. I've been sticking rather precisely to a schedule of 1667 words per day, which is just few enough to keep from getting overwhelmed by despair that my main character still hasn't met the ghost in the castle yet. Or that I don't really know much about my character once she's a teenager, a woman in her 20s, a woman in her 30s, etc. I just keep telling myself that exploring her childhood in detail will help me get to know the possibilities for her growing up. Meanwhile, I think I know why the ghost is in that castle. It's sort of half the traditional Beauty and the Beast set up, and half High Spirits only without the comedy.

My rough draft already has a beta reader volunteer--not that I usually like anyone to read my rough draft, but for this story there's precedent. I could have sworn I blogged this, but apparently I have not: Round about July 2005, I sat down with the creative writing prompt to take one of Tori Amos's more inscrutable songs and write a story that the lyrics could possibly, if you squint at them over your shoulder, be said to describe. I cued up "Toast" (audio link; lyrics here). After about an hour I had finished what I thought was the first scene of a short story. OK, a long scene, but rough drafts tend to be full of babble that'll get cut later, so, not worried. And I emailed it to John. And he called it "chapter 1" and asked "when can I read the rest?" And I said to the Muse, "You lied! You said this was a short story!" and She said, "No! Not lied, I was just, you know, mistaken..."

October this year had started and I still hadn't quite decided what plot I was going to try to stretch out over 50,000 words this year. John said, "When are you going to finish my ghost story?" I said, "You know what? I'll finish it in November." So I'm working on it.

(Also? It is not particularly subtle, naming the main character Melissa. Given that "Toast" is the last track off The Beekeeper. I C WUT U DID THERE.)

Today, I think, Melissa will finally meet the ghost. It will be midway through Chapter 2. Or it will be the cliffhanger of Chapter 2 and continue into Chapter 3, I'm not sure. I'll report on it later today, along with yesterday's pot roast. Because I feel very clever about yesterday's pot roast, that's why.

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