Thursday, December 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo Is Over: Finish That Novel!

Some people will breathe easier and some will go through withdraw. My after-Nano plans are simple: finish The Companion. I'm about 75%-80% done. I should be able to accomplish this in a relatively short time now that my characters are speaking to me.

This story is based on a dream I had years ago. I actually wrote an outline (of the dream), character list and four chapters of the story. Even with this preparation and thinking about the dream weekly, when I sat to write I didn't feel it.

I believed my characters were being stubborn. I didn't feel the chemistry between them. The switch from third to first perspective threw me, computer problems frustrated me, family and ML duties pulled my focus away. I shouldn't have blamed my characters they'd been speaking to me from the beginning. Vanessa Warsaw tells us: 


I had to get away. So I left. I quit my job and ran away from my family. I loved the job but my family…


This is how she started her story and everything is how I dreamed it with the exception of one thing: she quit her job. Didn't see that coming. Leave of absence-maybe. Vacation-most likely. Quit-no way!

As my hero and heroine began interacting, the subtle flirting started and he was able to crack her shell. I continued working through the chapters I'd already written then I found an excerpt that Vanessa had written in a journal. Hallelujah! My character's voice in first person of all things. (thank you past self for giving into the first person urge)

Here is the original journal passage:
I left home to be alone, to have silence and what did I do? I sabotaged my chance at solitude by opening my mouth. My good sense was thrown out for a challenge. What is wrong with me? The irony is, I came out here to get away from people and then I got myself saddled to one. Not just anyone, a man! Although, I will say he has surprised me so far. He hasn’t whined or complained about anything. He hasn’t made any crude remarks. This alone, almost gives me hope in mankind. Almost.

Losing my privacy wasn't a total loss because I did experience some things I could not have experienced alone. Today, I played in the ocean as a child, carefree of all things adult. I would not have done this by myself. Alone, I would’ve walked in the water or sat in it and enjoyed it but being with someone is a completely different experience.

The sunset this evening was beautiful. The blue sky faded into pinks, orange and violets. Clouds were lined with vibrant pink and gold. Words cannot describe the striking beauty. How can I define my feelings? The peacefulness of the night will haunt me. Yet, I did not encounter this alone. Only he will understand these words as pictures.

Even now my characters continue to surprise me. Things like a wedding dress bought years before by a dying mother and impromptu shopping trip to the tropical island jewelry store, while they weren't planned, fit organically into the plot and story line. Vanessa and Cole, thank you for taking an active part in your story.  

I plan to work in December to finish The Companion. While my daily goal no longer is 1,667 words, I will endeavor to write every day. 

Wrimos, I challenge you to do the same. Finish your story. No one can do it but you. Happy writing!

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