After all the hype and excitement to get going, when it actually hit midnight and I was legally able to start writing Reaching Sky, I felt surprisingly at a loss for a moment. But only a moment, and then I was typing away. I’d decided on this special occasion of my very first NaNoWriMo, I would stay up and get the prologue and first chapter done before going to bed.
It only took me an hour and a half and when I was done I’d already hit my word count goal for the day. In order to win the competition, I have to write about 1,667 words a day, and I’ve already written 1,772 and most of the day is still left! As nervous as I was about being able to write the 50k in a month, I’m secretly harboring a hope that I can complete the whole book in a month, which will hopefully be closer to normal novel length of at least 70k. Of course, now it’s no longer a secret, but you know what? I think I might be able to do it!
Some things I learned on this inaugural experience of mine:
• I forgot to name the bad guys
• It’s harder to turn off the internal editor than I thought
• If my character gets beat up in the first chapter and the book spans only a week, she’s going to have a black eye through the whole book
• As I got into bed feeling satisfied, I realized I’d forgotten to write the one-sentence event—the one the whole book pivots on—into the first chapter
• It only took me an hour and a half to meet the day’s word goal
• Why didn’t I write a book a long time ago??
And now, for a special treat just for you, I will share my opening paragraphs. Keep in mind it’s a hurried rough draft and not yet a polished work.
She chose red. Sky gripped the pencil with white knuckles and drew a sharp line of lightning through the black clouds. She was huddled against the side of the house—the side with no windows—and pushed the pencil so hard the paper almost ripped. The house in her drawing was just a square, much like the plain box-house she leaned against. The real house didn’t have dark clouds hovering over it, not so as a passerby would notice, anyway, but Sky knew they were there, just as sure as they were on her paper.
I am invisible. I learned that art many years ago, blending with the background to avoid flying fists and boiling words. Now I have used it for a different purpose. I watched, only a week ago, as Mr. Scrivener punched in the password to his safe. He’d thought himself alone in the house, so hadn’t been suspicious or attentive.
That’s the trick, I’ve learned. Always be suspicious and always know what’s around you. But Mr. Scrivener, in all his conniving business schemes, somehow hasn’t learned that well enough.