Ringing bells, shouts, clinking glasses—all these provided a backdrop to my latest writing effort. Was I in a church, a sporting event, a bar? Maybe all of the above, depending on who’s being asked.
I was in a Casino.
It’s Nanowrimo time…that’s National Novel Writing Month. The yearly event, which engages thousands, is a huge motivator for procrastinators. We sign up, get a working title for a book, and we start. Prompts tell us how many words to write each day. Successful authors give us internet pep talks. And day by day we see our latest masterpiece grow.
The idea is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. Events are scheduled throughout the world. In the San Francisco Bay Area writers gather for “A Night of Writing Dangerously.” It’s an all-nighter with food, drinks, lots of people. I’m in Las Vegas, so the local chapter of Romance Writers of America directed us to a four-hour writing extravaganza in the Silverton Casino.
I packed up my laptop with an idea in my head and finally found the place. My sense of direction is…well…let’s just say I’m not the most focused person these days. I had to circle the complex twice before I discovered the entrance.
Our little writing group clustered in the back of the 24-hour coffee shop. All around us were slot machines, enormous TVs with college football games, and busy waiters taking orders.
Can I write here, I asked myself?
I ordered a Perrier, sat at a table, and started.
Four hours and four thousand words later I got up and left.
The idea is to get words on the page. It doesn’t matter if words are misspelled, sentences are incomplete, dialogue is crappy, or emotion words are lacking. The idea is to get you writing. No procrastination allowed. Just do it.
I’m a pantser—I don’t use an outline. I apply structure after the first draft is written. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some kind of structure in my head. In this book’s first chapter—it’s the sequel to Scandal’s Child— I introduce the hero, what he wants, and what’s keeping him from getting it. In the second chapter I introduce the heroine, what she wants, and what’s keeping her from getting it. Hopefully, what they both want on the surface complements each other, because by the third chapter the reader will already know that underneath there will be built-in conflict. Neither is completely honest with the other and what they both really want is going to cause problems.
Ooh, I like it already.
Last year I won a badge—I finished the 50,000-word book on time. It’s a contemporary called, “A Pinot for your Thoughts,” the fifth in the Love in Wine Country series. After much editing (that’s always the hard part), it will be up for pre-sale December 26 and out one month later. When you read it, remember it was only an idea last November.
Oops…I haven’t done my words for the day.
Back to writing.