After NaNoWriMo 2015

NaNoWriMo winner 2015

It’s the last day of 2015, and I feel like I’m running late for the new year already. It’s been a busy couple of months, and I don’t think I’ve worked this hard since my days in the Navy (which says a lot about the past eight years). However, the last few months in overdrive have been wonderful, and here’s why.

I took a leap of faith—in myself—and signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and don’t let ‘National’ fool  you…it’s worldwide. The goal is to write a novel in a month. It seems like a daunting task, but with the smaller goal of just 1,667 words per day, with an end count of 50,000 words, it’s totally doable.

On November 1st, I picked up my laptop and put my fingers to the keyboard, never realizing the amazing journey on which I was about to embark. Like every journey, it began with a single step…or in my case, a single word. Light.

The first word was actually part of the book’s title, Light & Shadow. The idea had come to me one day after having a dream (no surprise there, since most of my ideas come from my dreams). I thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a story about a girl who got so lost in her dreams that she forgot who she was? Then found out that she had to battle against the nightmares to protect the dream world?

The story was further inspired when my best friend and co-author, M.W. King, mentioned that she hadn’t picked an idea for NaNoWriMo yet. So I tossed out the concept of writing companion books. That simple idea was a turning point in my career as an author, and I didn’t even know it.

She loved the idea, and by the beginning of November we had decided to write a tandem book set. My book was titled Light & Shadow and hers Shadow & Light. Our stories are unique in the writing world, in that my protagonist is her antagonist, and vice versa. Our two separate novels can stand perfectly well on their own, without the other at all, and still tell a fascinating, exciting story…although, what reader would want to read half of a story? Readers can get to know Lucia, the Queen of Light, then turn around and meet Orpheus, the King of Shadow. There are chapters in the novels where the characters intersect, and it’s been a lot of fun coordinating to ensure our timelines flow seamlessly.

The month flew by. On November 30, I pulled away from my keyboard with 50,195 words and a screen flashing ‘Winner!’ It was a huge boost to my confidence as a writer. The novel wasn’t complete, but it had a head start.

So here I am now, still writing the book. It’s well on its way to greatness though, since M.W. King and I have queried our novels to a small traditional publishing company, and were accepted! Which is why December has been so busy. But that is a story for the next post. 🙂


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