Friday, November 02, 2007

NaNoWriMo, after a fashion

Happy November!  It's National Novel Writing Month, and writers everywhere are geared up to crank out almost 1700 words a day in order to have written a new 50K book by thirty days from now.

Since I've decided to feed off all the energy in the air, and since I'm way behind in the wordcounts and needed a good kick in the @$$, I thought "What the heck? I'll do NaNoWriMo too."

Strictly speaking, I'm not - my words will be the completion of a mostly-written book instead of a new one (mainly, see below) - and I didn't sign up through the official website.

But I have set myself a new goal (remember when I said I wasn't going to set specific goals anymore?) to try to keep pace with the NaNoWriMo folks and average 1500-1700 words a day.  That should pretty much guarantee completion by the end of the month, even if I have to top 120K and then whittle down before everything's said and done.  It's a crazy, frenetic pace, but I have seen that when I'm really focused I can accomplish it.  I just need to stay focused.  See previous post about the internet.  *g*

So I sat down tonight prepared to flex my writing muscle and power forward through OHN.  There was just one minor problem...

Despite my best intentions to not do this until Elspeth and Alec's story was done, I took a page out of some friends' books (if you'll pardon the expression, hehe) and - since I was stuck on Book One - worked on Book Two.

Book Two is tentatively titled One Highland Wife, and will be the story of Nathaniel (Elspeth's brother) and Mairi (Alec's sister).  All the new scenes popping up in my head were between those two, so I went with it.  I also did some more brainstorming, as all I have right now are a few loosely-connected plot points, and wrote a very preliminary "hook":

Nathaniel Martin is happy to accept his sister's offer of a free vacation with her in Scotland, even if it means babysitting his young nephew while she and her husband celebrate their anniversary.  But a family outing to a ruined castle goes completely awry when Nate gets sucked through a time portal and into the late seventeenth century.

The stone that opened the portal is taken from him, and the only way to retrieve it is to buy it back, at an exorbitant price.  It takes everything he has and knows—and then some—to raise the funds.  Meanwhile, [antagonist/conflict here].

On his way to make the trade, he is moved to spend the entire amount to purchase a beautiful young widow named Mairi at auction, to save her from a life of servitude to the brutal man who sought to buy her.  Now he must seek another way to reclaim the stone and find a way back to his own time, as well as overcome [antagonist/conflict from above].  But the hardest thing will be deciding what do about the auburn-haired lass who has taken his name…and his heart.

The major scene I worked on - and cranked almost 900 words out of - will be from a chapter late in the book, entitled "Revelations of the Bedchamber".  Here's a snip:
"You know," Nate said, reclining against the headboard with Mairi snuggled contentedly against his shoulder, "we've been married [X] months, and I don't think you've told me anything about your brother."

"Andrew?" she asked.  "But I've spoken of him often enough.  There isna much to say now, as he's been deid these three years past.  Left a young wife and son, but the bairn was too wee to become chief, so the line passed to my uncle's branch."

"I remember you talking about Andrew.  I meant your other brother.  The one you don't speak of.  I don't think you've even told me his name."

Mairi hugged her arms about herself and sat up, away from him.  Her eyes became distant and she fixated on a point in the opposite corner of the room.

"Alasdair.  But most called him Alec."
And a bit later, after some explanations...

"Hold on.  I thought you said your maiden name was MacAlpin?"

She sighed.  "Aye, and so I did.  MacAlpin is the name my family took when it became illegal to claim 'MacGregor' in public, and to do so was cause for persecution…or execution."

He put up a hand, as much an attempt to bat away the thoughts that were buzzing and swarming about his head as to stall her speech.

"Wait.  You're telling me that you were—are—a MacGregor, and that your brother, Alec, married a woman named Elspeth and then disappeared under mysterious circumstances, never to be heard from again?"

"Aye."  Her eyebrows knit together, and a look of consternation and old pain crossed her delicate features.  It made him want to hold her close and sooth away the hurt, but just now he needed to come to grips with this new information.

MacGregor.  Alec MacGregor, and his wife, Elspeth.  Son of a—

All told, my nightly wordcount was up around 1400.  Not too shabby.


NBB said...


I like the brief summary of OHW and the snip of course. Definitively tickles my interest. :)

And good luck with your personal NaNoWriMo. I decided to not participate and stick to my 334 words a day.

Precie said...

Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!

I'm betting work on the sequel revives your excitement in OHN too!