Sørina’s 1st NaNo narrative

PrintHere we are, half way through December, and I haven’t blogged about my NaNoWriMo experience yet. Here goes.

This was my first attempt at NaNoing. I was working on Ready-Made Grave, the same novel I began over the 3-Day Novel Contest weekend (Labor Day). My goal was to begin November with 45,000 words and end with 90,000.

I started with 41,829 and ended with 76,685.

CoverAh, well. That’s not total failure. Here’s what happened. I was trotting along, writing the 1,667 words or more every day with ease. I was on track for complete success. However, there was a nagging thought in the back of my head that had been there since I first began work on Ready-Made Grave. See, it’s a murder mystery, but the death doesn’t happen until at least halfway through. Up until that point (as this synopsis makes clear), it’s 13 artistic-type people wandering around a cemetery, trying to make art. So I didn’t have one “story-worthy problem” to drive the narrative forward, nor one through-line to connect the 13 characters to one conflict.

Then on Wednesday the 18th, I had a brilliant “Eureka moment.” I figured out my story-worthy conflict! Here it is: the leader of the artists’ group springs a surprise on them: after they’re all gathered in the cemetery, he announces that they are all locked in, and he won’t let them out until they show him an art project that’s good enough. They’re trapped.

I loved this idea, and for the rest of that week, all went well.

But then I got stuck. I couldn’t figure out the logistics of how to move material around to accomplish this grand new idea. And then I had a huge academic project to do. And then 3 days straight of cooking and traveling for Thanksgiving. Finally, on Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving (when I woke up two hours before anyone else), I got unstuck. But by then it was too late to make the NaNoWrMo word count.

Oh, well. Quality over quantity, right? Now I’m at 78,254 words and making good progress. Plus I’ve been working on two short stories and a poem recently. And that huge academic project I mentioned. So there’s been plenty of writing going on at Higgins’ Croft these days — just not 50,000 words on one thing in a month. Maybe next year!



Cemetery in the Clouds: A Teaser

Here are the first three paragraphs of a new story of mine–just enough to whet your appetite, I hope!

Cemetery in the Clouds
by Sørina Higgins

It was the turn of the twenty-seventh century, and grave-robbing wasn’t what it used to be. Jerry Spiker sighed as he injected his morning coffee. He pulled on his boots and shook his head as he looked at the tell-tale cloud stains. Those would be the death of him someday.

Turn of the twenty-seventh century already, but being a detective isn’t what it used to be, Prentice Guy grumbled as he scanned the mental headlines. He sorted them into a prioritized list, then summoned his assistant.

For one thing, Jerry thought, cursing to himself as he zipped up his neotec-lined, phauxfleece-stuffed, wickwarm-topped coat, he actually had to go outside these days. He thought of the good old times when he sat in his warm office in a reconditioned humRV, traveling the little-used M1 up and back, up and back. Sometimes he’d be the only driver in a world of automated cars, their weary passengers sleeping while the vehicles piloted themselves flawlessly along. He’d park somewhere on the edge of Londone and deploy his remote-controlled sensors and diggers, sit back and enjoy a hot infusion in his veins, watching on multiple screens while the machines did all the work. It wasn’t like that anymore. Things were really going downhill these days.


image by Bonnybbx on Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain.

Nano reflections

Here is Sharon’s NaNoWriMo detox — I mean debrief. Enjoy!

The Late Bloomer

I am done with Nanowrimo! In my mind I won even though I only reached 30,000 words. That was my goal. I knew it would be nigh impossible for me write 50,000 words in the month of November when I was acting in a show and had major rehearsals for the show I am directing. (which is opening this week. Check out Players of the Stage’s website for information. If you live in the Lehigh Valley you should come!)

Mrs. Boyle Here I am as Mrs. Boyle writing a letter. If only I could count the words I wrote on stage as part of Nanowrimo… After I was done with my part, I’d lounge in backstage area with my computer and work on my novel. 

Now that I am finished with Nano (Geek alert…every time I see this nickname for the Nanowrimo I think about Borg technology) I have some lessons learned…

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