I'm ready β€” are you?

 

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and I’m all in.

In 2009, I participated for the first time. My goal was to finish a novel I’d already started, “Blind Date Bride.” I had about 40K to go. I only got 25K written during NaNo, but finished my first draft before Christmas.

This year, I’m going to go for the whole enchilada: A complete novel, from Word One.

That’s not to say I haven’t done a little prewriting. The idea is actually one I came up with while working on my first MS, Brad & Erin’s story. It’s the tale of Brad’s brother, Kenny. Because he lives in the same city as his mother, poor Kenny bears the brunt of his Ma’s matchmaking efforts … and it’s driving him crazy.

On the day Brad brings Erin home to meet his folks, Kenny also turns up with a woman he says is his fiancee … but she’s really just a friend Kenny has asked to pretend to be his fiancee to get his Ma off his back. But Kenny, always a practical joker, decides to take it to the next level β€” he has Kristi pretend to be a completely unsuitable fiancee, complete with clothes short and tight enough to give his dad apoplexy.

Of course, since I write romance, Kenny and Kristi have to fall for each other. But by the time they do, his Ma can’t stand the poor girl (who is really very sweet). Kenny, afraid to just come clean about the mother of all deceptions, convinces Kristi to undertake a “Pygmalion” type of transformation. (Hence the cheesy working title I put on my NaNo page, “My Fair Fiancee.”)

Don’t knock it. I told you I suck at titles! For me, they’re like the photo kickers I have to write for work. Once in a while I come up with one that’s a real gem: The picture of a deer in a field, looking straight at the camera comes to mind. I slugged it “You lookin’ at me?” But most of the time, they’re pretty lame. (Think “Fun with science” for Flagstaff’s recent science festival. Yeah. That‘ll bring home the prize for headline writing.) πŸ˜‰

I did the pre-plotting work a while back, after one of our NARWA meetings went over the “Book in a Month” book. The goal was to do it in 60 days, before the next meeting. I got up to Day 4 or 5 (research) and petered out. Research isn’t my favorite thing, so I try to make my characters at least a little like me. I worked as a DJ for my college radio station (Kenny’s a DJ). But I still need to talk to someone, because I’m sure it’s different now that radio stations are all-digital. (Heck, most of our music was on CDs, but we still had to cue up vinyl from time to time … and that was way back in 1993!)

I’m also going to try to come up with character arcs for both Kenny & Kristi before Nov. 1. I see a cram session with Debra Dixon’s “GMC” in my future. Maybe if I focus on that before I even start, I won’t get the “your book doesn’t have enough conflict” criticism. (I seem to get that a lot … and as much as I wish I could, I can’t discount EVERYONE who’s told me that. I’m a Libra β€” Libras don’t like conflict … or so I’ve been told. I believe it, too. I’d rather attempt to swim across a flood-swollen Mississippi than have a fight with someone.)

Check out my NaNo page here. I put a few more details in my “novel info” page.

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