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NaNoWriMo — The First Week

On target and with a sneak peek!

I have successfully completed my first week of NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, takes place every November. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and the prize is the feeling of success, plus the bonus of completing 50,000 words on my next novel.

The first step to completing 50,000 words in 30 days was to break it down into smaller chunks: about 11,670 words a week, 1,667 words a day (a number the NaNoWriMo website kindly provided for me, saving me the need to do the math).

Those numbers mean that as of yesterday I would need write 10,002 words to stay on track.

I have written just a few words more than that.

Helpful strategies have included 30 minute writing sprints, along with 15 minutes of moving around — cooking, vacuuming, other tasks, anything that doesn’t involve sitting in front of the computer.

The other important strategy is patience. Patience with myself, patience with my writing and creative process. If I don’t complete 1,667 words a day that’s not a problem because on other days I may get 2,000 or 3,000 written.

I remember that life is not linear — and that’s ok.

Here is a sample of my NaNo project. It is the second in a time-travel series which will be released next spring. In the first book, we meet our heroine Sharon and go on an adventure through time with her. At the beginning of the second book, she is training to become a Temporal Protection Corps Agent. In this scene, she has completed testing on her 20th century training and is sitting in the atrium of the Temporal Protection Corps Headquarters enjoying a celebratory coffee with fellow agents:

“What do they do?” Sharon asked as two figures walked through the atrium dressed head-to-toe in what looked like hazmat suits .
“They are probably chrono-paleontologists or paleobotanists,” Caelen answered.
“Why are they dressed like they are cleaning up a radiation leak?”
“Primarily so they don’t infect a prehistoric time with modern microbes. If they are visiting pre-Cambrian earth, there may be no or little oxygen and they need to bring their own oxygen supplies.”
Sharon’s “oh” of astonishment was lost as Jonas arrived with coffee. As he sat, Sharon leaned forward.
“So when do I get to go to the pre-Cambrian?”
Jonas snorted. “You don’t.”
Sharon sat back and looked at him through narrowed eyes. “Why not?”
“It is a very specialized study,” Caelen answered. “There are only a few agents with the background and training to travel to prehistoric earth. Think of it like visiting another planet because in many ways that’s what it is.”
“Like astronauts,” Sharon nodded. Her eyes were shining as she imagined visiting times when the earth wasn’t the earth she knew.
“May I join you?”
Miranda Noon stood over Sharon’s shoulder and sat as they gestured to the empty seat at the table.
“I understand congratulations are in order,” she said smiling at Sharon who smiled back, trying not to be distracted by Miranda’s silver hair and eyes glittering like rainbows. Not long after she started her training, Sharon learned that the prism effect in Miranda’s eyes was from a special contact lens that stored what she was reading, like a separate computer memory. It allowed her to scan and save materials for review later; an important skill when an expert in legal and ethical theory.
“Where would you like to visit now?” she asked after Caelen confirmed that Sharon had passed her 20th century training test.
“Maybe Elizabethan England, or ancient Egypt,” Sharon answered. Miranda nodded.
“A lot of new agents are interested in those time frames,” she said.
“Where did you visit first?”
“Well, my interests focus on legal history, so I visited Babylon in the time of Hammurabi and then was a secret observer to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. The first iteration, not one of the later versions,” she added.
“Where did you go, Jonas?” Sharon asked.
Jonas looked trapped and then muttered into his coffee.
“I am sorry, I didn’t hear you,” Miranda said with a frown.
“He said ‘opening day at Disneyland in 1955,’” Caelen answered with a smile.
“That’s brilliant!” Sharon said. Jonas looked relieved.

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To learn more about my works in progress, please visit my website.

Image from Pixabay