If you’re a writer at all you probably know what the month of November is. It’s NaNoWriMo, which stands for, National Novel Writing Month. If you don’t know what it is go check it out. Basically what happens is writers all over the world commit to writing a novel of at least 50,000 words. This year I decided I would participate. I was so scared I wouldn’t make it that I just started writing and didn’t stop. I finished in eleven days!
It’s amazing what the pressure of a deadline will do for some people and although I’ve never thought of myself as one of them, I may have to begrudgingly admit that I am. One thing I’ve learned about myself in the last eleven days is that I think I may be slacking in my writing the rest of the time. I can push a little harder if I need to. Although there were days during this that I wrote at breakneck (for me anyway) speed. My personal best before this was 5,000 words in a day. During NaNo I first got around 7,000 in one day, and the very next day I turned around and wrote over 9,000!
How good is a book that was written in such a short period of time you ask? Probably not great, but guess what? All first drafts, whether they took eleven days or eleven years to write are usually pretty stinky. I know I never let anyone read my first draft of anything, because as Hemmingway so famously said, “The first draft of anything is always shit.”
Here is something I will let you read though and that’s the brief little blurb that may one day grace the back of a book, if I’m very lucky and work very hard. It’s subject to change but for now, here is your first little peek at, “The Devil and the Dirt Road.” And for all you Cape Bretoners out there, the ‘dirt road’ refers to Oban. Here it is:
“When Lucy Morgan, a small town newspaper reporter living in Oban Cape Breton, is given the assignment to interview a dying woman who served life in prison for the murder of her son, she believes it may be the springboard to a bigger, better job. Soon the story Alice Sutherland reveals on her deathbed disturbs her so deeply that Lucy’s own life is thrown into chaos. Alice has never denied the murder itself, but when she finally reveals the reason for it Lucy is left reeling. Soon a similar string of events begins to unfold in Lucy’s life and the only way to stop it may be to walk the same road as Alice.”