by EK Johnson
Danni whacking out a rough draft
There is an event for writers each November called NaNoWriMo in which participants on Nov. 1, begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. I had planned to try that last November, but a drunk driver crashed into my son’s pickup at 85 mph+, disrupting many plans. (If you know anyone who drives drunk, do whatever it takes to stop them–the lives they ruin may be more than just their own.)
At any rate, nearly a year has passed and I’m gearing up to try NaNo again. My plan is to whack out the rough draft of the sequel to Agnes Campbell’s Hat while continuing to work on the third book in the Love Is Not Enough Series and do a bunch of other stuff, too.
Agnes Campbell’s Hat is aimed at younger readers who read books in the 35,000 word range, so depending on how the drafting process goes, I may not need to write the entire 50,000 words.
Unfortunately, I’m not hopeful. My rough drafts usually go something like this:
Melba runs into the tootntotem store. Harold I think I just saw that guy with the gun (the small mustachioed man with the orange hat?)
Harold is at chip display (pork rinds?) sullen look.
Why are you just standing there, Harold? Chop, chop. (is she trying to figure out why Harold’s mad? Argument over cracked iPhone screen again? Losing the dog?) (Look up what kind of dog from last book) What’s your problem Harold? Did u not sleep again?
Not after you dug your toe into my shin at three o’clock.
Melba stares. What’s he talking about?
You woke me up doin’ this–Harold makes grinding toe motion–on my leg. Figured I was breathin on you or something. only got two or three minutes sleep after that.
Melba: Dug into you with my toe? (Is he kidding? The guy with toenails like daggers?) I know nothing of this so called toe incident, Harold. Do you seriously think I wouldn’t just–makes jabbing elbow motion–and tell you to quit breathing on me?
Harold scowls? You got up and went to the bathroom after that.
Well, the clues are really falling into place, now, Harold. sarcastic You know what this reminds me of? That time I was talking in my sleep*–Melba looks over his shoulder at small guy holding gun coming out bathroom? Harold duck, she yells
Then the poison dart hits her in the forehead? Harold thinks, serves her right now she knows how I feel after toe incident?
What if the gunman rips off his hat and he’s a woman with a mustache? Real? fake? Harold suddenly remembers a recurring nightmare about a man with a little mustache? His mother? Did they think she died a long time ago from the freak farm accident? begins to suspect he was adopted?
What does Harold actually need in scene? Resolution from pain of his past? New cell phone so he catches podcast about missing mob boss for next chapter? Just pork rinds?
And, on and on.
*Parts of Harold and Melba’s conversation may, or may not, have actually occurred one morning before breakfast. Some names may have been changed to protect the guilty.
I might not have many brain cells left for blogging in November, but we’ll see how it goes. As always, thank you so much for reading what I write. Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Phillips, Craig & Dean doing You Are God Alone.