I can’t say this month is going quickly – but at least it’s going.
It all started swimmingly, of course, with early mornings and white-on-white writing and 2000 words every day in time for breakfast.
Then on 10 November the Chess World Championship chess match in Chennai began. It’s hard to have two major hobbies on top of a day job and a family. As #NaNoWriMo and #AnandCarlsen vied for attention, my word count suffered.
Today Magnus Carlsen is being crowned the new chess World Champion, and my mind is returning to Timbuktu. The current word count is 37,442. If I can write 2000 words every day this week, I will have completed the first draft of SCROLLS and be a NaNoWriMo 2013 winner. If not, I will wear sackcloth and ashes until Christmas.
I am enjoying the process, in spite of early mornings and sore eyes. On my good days I think the first draft is turning out rather well. Even on my bad days I don’t think it’s entirely horrible. I like it when characters and events collide unexpectedly in ways I had not foreseen in the chapter outline. I am a firm believer that a novel outline should not be exhaustive – you need to leave space in your plot for unanticipated magic.
I am also happy to be experimenting with a new genre – new to me, I mean. SCROLLS is historical fiction. There are thriller elements, but there is also romance. As an author more at home with spies, kidnappings and improbable gadgets, I am relishing this new departure into a world of lingering glances, balcony scenes, impassioned soliloquies and other blissful nonsense.
Can I reach 50,000 words by 30 November? With a busy week coming up, I genuinely don’t know. Call back here next Sunday to share my jubilation or misery.