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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I need to blog. About two hours ago, I was given some really heart breaking news. I don't want to go into detail. But ever since I've just felt the need to do something. Anything. Get my mind off of this.

So I'm going to blog. I'm going to tell you about something that has made me so happy these past few months.

I wrote a novel. It was for a program called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The whole concept of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel of 50,000 words or more all in the month of November when NaNoWriMo takes place. I had heard about it in 2008 but not until half way through the month of November, therefore thwarting any thoughts of joining. So in 2009, when November rolled around, I decided to sign up and give it my best shot.

I have tried to write novels before. I've always lacked the discipline needed to actually sit down and finish. My best attempt before 11/09 was about 14,500 words. I loved the story, but there is a big reason why I quit. I was obsessed with it being perfect.

In October of 2009, I had the opportunity to meet and interview one of my favorite authors, Shannon Hale, for my YouTube book review channel. She was speaking at the Utah Humanities Book Festival in Salt Lake City prior to our short interview. She and another author, Sara Zarr, were paired together to talk about their books and writing. They said something profound that I think every aspiring author needs to hear.

"Your first draft is just that. It's a first draft. It doesn't need to be perfect. Just write it, you can fine tune later."

That was my problem with each of my previous attempts. I wanted it to be a publishing ready novel right from the beginning. That doesn't happen. This is also the point of NaNoWriMo. No revisions. Revisions are for December. You spend the whole of November getting the novel written, fixing can be done later.

This is what I did. I ate up the experience, writing for hours and hours each day. I had my 50,000 words by the 17th. Each moment was amazing and it became a race to finish the novel completely by the end of November. I did it. The novel ended up just over 90,000 words. (For those of you who don't understand how many words that is, picture writing about 32.5 term papers for college.)

I've since read through it, doing some minuscule editing and have sent it out for a few family members and close friends to read. It's terrifying knowing that it's in the world being read at the moment. But I've gotten good words of encouragement so far.

"I have not finished your story yet, but I am really into it so far! You really are an awesome writer. Love your work!"

"I too am enjoying your book.....not much editing going on because I am getting lost in the story."

It's been such an amazing experience and I'm so glad that I did it! I can't wait for next November. I'll be writing the prequel to my current novel. Exciting! I encourage you all to join, too!

The cover was made by me, and if it ever gets published this will not be the final cover. I'm just a very visual person with access to photoshop.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the novel:

“You are beautiful.” He said, kissing the base of my neck.
Beautiful and hollow; just like the flames.

My mind screamed cautions in my head, but my foolish heart was beating so loudly that I didn’t hear a thing.

I hope that someday everyone will get the chance to read it. But even if that day never comes, it's been one of the biggest blessings in my life.

3 Thoughts:

Utah Mom said...

You are awesome. I'd love to read it.

Toni said...

but i love that cover!!

Anonymous said...

...I *really* wish I had your photoshop talent.

And your novel sounds amazing. I would totally attempt reading it to see if I was captured by it.