by Julie, enjoying temperate weather in Somerville
November is a busy month. It starts with my sister’s birthday, winds into Thanksgiving, and launches the busy holiday season. But this November is a bit different. The holidays are on hold. November is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and I’m spending my time celebrating creativity. Mine.
Sure, I love the holiday season. Though I do miss the mysteries on Hallmark Mysteries and Movies. (There, I said it. I need some crime between November and January.) But I digress. This year, preparing for the holidays is on hold while I do my best to write 50,000 words on a new book by the end of November. I don’t think I’m going to make it, but I’m writing every day, trying.
Unlike previous NaNoWriMos, this project isn’t in one of my series. It’s a mystery, yes. I’ve realized that I’m a mystery writing who dabbles in suspense and action once in a while. But at heart, I like creating puzzles for readers. Not only is this book a new idea, I’m writing differently than normal. I did an outline before I started, but the characters didn’t like the plan, so I’m going with the flow. These characters have minds of their own–they’re dragging me all over the place. So far, five of them have demanded their own scenes.
I have a couple of subplots that have shown up that are interesting. And I suspect that things are going to weave together in the end, because they usually do. But I have no idea how. I’m both scared to death and thrilled.
Writing is hard work. Physically it can take a toll. Mentally it takes over the rest of your life. But here’s the thing. Writing is magic. Characters show up, and stick around while you channel their story. Plots somehow work out. Maybe in the third or fourth draft, but still. There’s magic.
This book could end up being an exercise that no one will ever read. But I’ve realized that’s not what’s important this month. I’m enjoying flexing my creativity, and not worrying about the outcome until the next draft. This book is a celebration of my creativity, and I’m having a blast.
Readers, do you ever break out of your comfort zone with thrilling results?