Last night was my wife’s birthday. She received a delivered bouquet and card at work. More cards and a gift were awaiting her after work, and then on to a wonderful meal and excellent bottle of wine. When we climbed into bed she knew I had invited a few new people to join me…at least in my dreams. The new folks have been in bed with me for a few weeks now. Sometimes they are quiet, but usually they will speak, do strange things, get real emotional and maybe even kill somebody. The last few nights, after a good-night kiss from my sweet wife, I was joined by Matthew Grimes and his wife, Martine. I’m getting to know them well; their foibles, their marriage problems, their career pressures and I even know their fantasies. They are important to me and I tell them to just go crazy every night before sleep takes me away. Most mornings, as I awake, I smile at the crazy stuff that my dream-mates have been up to. Then I arise and take those fresh thoughts to my computer and make notes about my new characters for my new novel. It’s that time of the year again and I have once more made the serious commitment to do the “NaNoWriMo” thing. http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/about
I have 30 days, starting November 1st, to write a minimum 50,000 word novel. This will be my third straight year and third 50,000+ word novel completed as a NaNoWriMo winner. Last year over 250,000 people from all over the world entered and only 56,000 of us won. What do we win? Just a piece of paper and a self-pat on our backs. (sorry the document loaded side-ways but I don’t have time to try to re-size it, plus it’ s just a piec of paper.
I swore I would never do that pressure-intense 30 days again, but I must do it one more time. The pressure of writing an average of 1600 words a day is intense but somehow addictive. It takes a wonderful patient wife and understanding friends. Do not call me in November!
My new sleep-mates, Matthew and his wife Martine, are important characters in this novel and that is why I talk to them every night and allow them to “do-their-thing.” I believe most folks write out an outline or plot-plan or list of chapters. I don’t know how to do that; it doesn’t seem to work for me. I take an idea for a plot, I form some characters for my plot and believe me, I have no idea where they are going and how it will end. I just turn them loose in my dreams and they kind of flesh themselves out and we’re off and running.
I have my first novel (written in 2010) re-write complete and edited and after this “marathon” in November, I will be ready to publish. My second novel (2011) is half-way re-written and being edited also.
So, thanks to my wonderful loving, patient wife for allowing me to go crazy with my characters for an entire month. And also I can’t thank her enough for allowing me to go to sleep with them too.