Friday, November 25, 2005

Where Did November Go?


Turkey Day arrived this year with a welcome message: My NaNoWriMo novel had reached 68,000 words before the online validator became active.

For the last month (minus 5 days), I've been living in Indigo, a small town in flyover country, accompanying a rural sheriff named Art Whiddick as he organizes his high school reunion, solves a missing-person mystery, and uncovers dark doings in a sinister house.

That's at night, and various odd moments during the day. I've also been working a part-time contract that became a full-time one, and then (just as November dawned), began to lap over into 50- and 60-hour weeks. Even worse, my employer wouldn't let me log on to the 'Net for any reason while I was working.

I credit this policy for my over-the-top word count, actually. Since I couldn't surf, I couldn't fill idle moments with anything but writing. So reading and reviews went by the wayside. I haven't opened a cookbook in four weeks. I haven't even played Solitaire!

Instead, I wrote. As each chapter was complete, I eMailed it to myself. And by the simple expedient of unplugging the modem after each download, I made myself write at home, too.

Now, my reward: I get to come back to life, back to BlogCritics, and back to consciousness of life outside Indigo. Oh, I'll revisit that town. I'm taking the advice of Stephen King, who said in On Writing that a novel once complete should be set aside for a while. He advises that you come back and read it with fresh eyes (once you've forgotten the push and thrust of its creation); you'll spot its vacancies and absurdities much more easily then.

Art Whiddick and Indigo go into a drawer in my desk. Whether they will ever go further, only time will tell.

Meanwhile, it's good to be back.

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