Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Signed Up for NaNoWriMo on a Whim - den Boer

God help me. I just signed up to write a novel in a month or, as I understand, the first draft of a novel that could take a year or two to edit. All I need (they say)  is a story idea that excites me, a main character I love, and a touchstone such as a song, picture or memory to draw us back to the story if my character takes me drifting off in an ocean of words.

Dear God, give me a story that excites me...please.

Humour always excites me...clean humour...not that grungy, suggestive stuff. My story has to be humorous.

Suppose I take a character I like, put that person in an impossible situation and see what happens. With NaNoWriMo, a month and 50,000 words later I'll have the flawed first draft of a humorous novel.

Okay, now I'm dusting my keyboard. Such inspiration.

Let's concentrate on a character. I have to get on well with this character as I'll be spending most of November with her. I'll call her Minnie. She's a middle-aged woman.

Now, I'm biting my finger and thinking about lunch.

A touchstone...I'll do that first. That passage in Matthew 6 comes to mind. "Don't first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be yours as well." It's been a durable wedding passage for 36 years of marriage, so should work for a 50,000-word less-than-perfect novel.

Back to a story that excites me. I need an arresting situation for a middle-aged, God-loving woman. This lady's three kids are grown and have left the nest. Her husband dies after a short fight with cancer. He leaves her with a house, two cars, and nothing to do. Boring. How about she finds out he had a gambling problem and he leaves her with nothing? That sounds dreary.

It is three minutes to twelve. How  about I go have lunch?

How about Minnie doesn't lose her husband to cancer? Her husband loses her. Minnie has a car accident. She goes to heaven. She becomes one among the great cloud of witnesses cheering people on.

I can see potential here.

Minnie can explore heaven, and she can peer out through the windows up there to do some cheering. Of course this will go against all manner of theology, but that shouldn't matter because in the end Minnie wakes up from a coma with a renewed zest for living.

Forgive me for spoiling the suspense.

Marian den Boer is the author of the book Blooming, This Pilgrim's Progress. If you haven't read it yet, she'll be happy to sell you a copy. Don't bother contacting her in November. She'll be busy. 


Peter Black said...

Heh! Heh! Marian, your creative juices got flowing pretty fast, there.
All the best and bon voyage as you set sail on your journey into the sea of 50,000 words. :)

Marian said...

Thank you Peter. I will be burning the midnight oil.

Glynis said...

Sign me up for a copy! Sounds fabulous. Congratulations and hang on to your hat! Blessings...

Marian said...

I've written my first 2000 words. Once I got past the idea of perfection, the words started to flow. When I run stuck, I ask the Lord for direction and the idea for the next bit pops into my head. I'm refusing to think about editing on this round. It's exhilarating.

Carolyn Wilker said...

That's it, Marian. No editing on this trip. Enjoy the writing.

When I did it in 2010, I wrote early in the morning, and I see you write at night?

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